22 July 2013
Yucca Mountain Waste Repository
Thesis: Although there has been much debate upon the issue, implementing Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository (YMNWR) is the wisest course of action for our nation’s nuclear waste. It is the most prudent decision when considering security, geographic and expense factors. 1.
Implementing Yucca Mountain would greatly strengthen our nation’s safety. a.
It is safer to consolidate waste to protect from terrorist attack as opposed to keeping it scattered across the nation. 2.
Why Yucca Mountain is monetarily the best course of action. a.
Billions of dollars have already been spent to build the facility b.
Abandoning the Yucca Mt. project and founding another repository would be very costly. Is Yucca Mountain the only repository in the US? 3.
Objections and concerns to Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. a.
Why should we move our used fuel rods out of the pools of water they are currently stored in? b.
There is a risk of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes putting the repository at risk. c.
A radioactive emission from the waste containers is a concern. 4.
The Geographic advantages to implementing Yucca Mountain. a.
The Yucca Mountain site is remote, arid and geologically stable.
30 July 2013
All This Waste With Nowhere to Go
One of society’s biggest taboos is waste; everyone has it, but no one likes to talk about it. When you have trash, you send it to the dump. We think waste should be as simple as that. But, for good reason, this rule doesn’t apply to our nation’s nuclear waste. I am sure you have heard the saying, “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure”. Unfortunately, no “Do It Yourself” or “DIY” projects can be done with radioactive trash. A web page powered by Eureka County Nevada tells us that in 1956, there began talk of founding a facility to safely store all of our nation’s nuclear filth. Thirty one years later, after multiple searches and studies, Congress directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to study Yucca Mountain, which is located in a former nuclear test site, as a potential nuclear waste repository. The location was approved and a repository was built. Yucca Mountain was set to begin accepting nuclear waste on January 31, 1998. However, the project was postponed due to numerous complications and overall lack of funding. On July 18, 2006, after many political pressures and societal disagreements, the DOE set 2020 as the new date for the repository to begin storing radioactive waste. In the seven years since then, there have been numerous complications and arguments over this plan, but the fact remains: we have waste that needs a permanent home. Although there has been much debate upon the issue, implementing Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository (YMNWR) is the wisest course of action for our nation’s nuclear waste. It is the most prudent decision when considering security, expense, and geographic factors. To begin with, implementing the plan to use YMNWR would greatly strengthen our nation’s safety. Nuclear waste is currently stored in 131 different locations scattered across the nation. According to the World Nuclear Association, there are five different levels of waste: Exempt Waste, Very Low Level Waste, Low Level Waste, Intermediate Level Waste and High Level Waste. Exempt Waste and Very Low Level Waste contains such a small amount of radioactivity that it is considered un-harmful to people and the surrounding environment. Low Level Waste is produced from hospitals and industry. It comprises some 90% of the volume but only 1% of the radioactivity of all radioactive waste. Intermediate Level Waste is slightly higher on the radioactive scale. It makes up some 7% of the volume and has 4% of the radioactivity of all radioactive waste. High Level Waste (HLW) is made by ‘burning’ uranium in a nuclear reactor. HLW accounts for over 95% of the...
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