Nuclear Information Resource Center – 2015-05-03 01:36:14
Tell Congress: The Yucca Nuke Dump Is a No-go:
Dump Funding for the Yucca Mountain Repository
(April 27, 2015) — â€¨â€¨We want you to know just how bad the Yucca Mountain site would be for nuclear waste, so we produced a quick little sheet we call Science vs Science Fiction on Yucca Mountain. You see, Nevadans oppose Yucca Mountain not only because it would be in their state, but because the site fails on the most basic technical grounds.
The site would host 70,000 metric tons of radioactive waste inside tunnels that would be too radioactive for workers to install titanium drip shields. The solution? “Use robots.”
But current robots (which are simply sent to take remote pictures already are failing when they enter high radiation areas. The
titanium drip shields would weigh tons and have to cover more than 40-plus miles of tunnels with no gaps.
The Yucca Mountain Area is one of the most seismically active zones of the â€œLower 48 statesâ€ and has history of volcanic activity.
You may ask: Who chose Yucca Mountain if it is so bad? The answer is simple: Congressâ€¦without a single geologist consulted at the time! â€¨â€¨Swarms of earthquakes every year; growing fault lines through where the waste tunnels would be dug; a row of lava cones pointing at the site . . . .
These technical problems have led Congress to repeatedly exempt Yucca Mountain from safety regulations, criteria and standards. Instead of rejecting the site, Congress has instead used a shoe-horn, requiring that the standards be relaxed over and over.â€¨â€¨
Letâ€™s not waste more time and money.
ACTION: Tell Congress below to stop Yucca now!
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The proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste site would leak if nuclear waste is buried there. Radioactivity would flow from the site into the groundwater and radioactive gases would escape into the air. The question is not whether this would happen, but how much radiation would be released and how soon.
Seventeen years ago, 200 organizations petitioned then-Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson to reject the Yucca Mountain Site for technical and legal reasons. Even in 1998 there was already plenty of Department of Energy (DOE) data to show that earthquakes occur frequently in that part of Nevada.
The Yucca Mountain rock is highly fractured with significant fault lines. The cracks in the rock would allow radioactive Carbon-14 gases, well above international standards, to escape the Yucca site. The Congressional response to this was to tell regulators to write more “reasonable” standards. This move removed the scientific basis for site selection.
These groups pointed to how the cracks in the rock would provide fast-flow pathways allowing water carrying radioactivity to leave the site and contaminate groundwater below as the waste containers fail. Corrosion of nuclear waste containers is a given; the only question is how quickly.
Various “fixes” for the nuclear waste container failures have been offered, but the technology that would compensate for the flaws in the site does not exist. Yucca Mountain cannot meet even the new site-specific safety regulations without features like titanium drip shields in a scenario that is pure fiction.
The US needs a nuclear waste disposal system that meets the safety standards and protects public health. Success depends on these basics! I strongly urge you to correct the mistakes of the previous Congresses and Dump Yucca from any further consideration or funding.
In this upcoming election season, please let me know where you stand on this vital issue.