This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
Washington doesn’t have the geology to store high-level nuclear wastes. Too much groundwater; too much risk of radioactivity spreading into aquifers and the Columbia River.
Such was the verdict of the scientists and policymakers who rejected Hanford as a nuclear waste dump more than 20 years ago. But President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are fast reversing that verdict.
Their goal is to kill a planned permanent nuclear waste repository in Nevada, not create one in Washington. But it’s the same difference.
Hanford, the nuclear reservation in Eastern Washington, is already saddled with thousands of tons of intensely radioactive reactor-core byproducts. All of it was supposed to be buried in bone-dry caves under Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. Terminate the Yucca Mountain project, and you eliminate what was supposed to be the destination of Washington’s reactor wastes as well as wastes from more than 100 other reactor complexes across the United States.
As McClatchy Newspapers’ Les Blumenthal reported Monday, the Obama administration has no Plan B for Yucca Mountain.
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