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  • The Science IS Settled...On Yucca Mountain

    Lost in President Obama’s rhetoric that the science is settled on climate change, the president is willing to shut down Yucca Mountain without scientific justification. Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) filed to withdraw the application for the geologic repository Yucca Mountain that was supposed to begin collecting used fuel in 1998. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 set January 31, 1998, as the deadline for the federal government to begin disposing of used fuel. More than a decade after the deadline, the government has still not settled on a policy for how to do it. The DOE established a blue ribbon commission to explore alternatives to long-term waste storage. The government’s ineptitude to begin proper nuclear waste management should be a reason to remove government responsibilities, not remove Yucca from consideration.

    On numerous occasions (not Yucca specific) President Obama emphasized the importance of objective, transparent science, stressing that politics should not trump sound science.

    President Obama in an Executive Memorandum on March 9, 2009:

    Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration on a wide range of issues, including improvement of public health, protection of the environment, increased efficiency in the use of energy and other resources, mitigation of the threat of climate change, and protection of national security.

    The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions. Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions. “

    President Obama in a ceremony the same night: “Promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it is also about protecting free and open inquiry.”

    President Obama after announcing his top science advisors December 8, 2008:

    Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.”

    It’s time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient.”

    The issues surrounding opening Yucca Mountain are purely politically and not one bit technical. Yucca Mountain is the most studied geologic nuclear materials repository in the world. Studies have found that the Yucca repository could safely hold 120,000 tons of waste.

    So we should listen to the science, except when it’s inconvenient to well-connected political leaders. If politicians eager to shut down Yucca Mountain are so confident that the science is on their side, why not allow the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to finish its license review? After, all, it’s the NRC’s responsibility to determine the technical feasibility of Yucca – even if it has been studied countless times.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to The Science IS Settled...On Yucca Mountain

    1. Billie says:

      Boy, this guy is simply delusional. Science would be put on top if it wasn't influenced by government where facts and evidence are ALWAYS TWISTED!

    2. Rich Stewart, Carlis says:

      Perhaps for the duration of this Obama Administration the DOE should be renamed the Department of Silly Green Science Projects.

      Obama's big nuclear power announcement was based on plans/requests that were in the absurdly long, costly, mostly useless approval process before he was even elected to the U.S. Senate for cryin' out loud. The French can get over 70% of their power from nuclear and deal with disposal of spent fuel and we can't even get a new construction permit through a ridiculously politicized process. This is not the road to energy independence. This is the road to Venezuela.

    3. NV4CFE, Reno, NV says:

      This post is spot on. Thank you. One thing to add is that this blatant abandonment of science and political play is costing the state of Nevada potentially thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity. Hopefully with enough education and a few changes in November, Nevada can take advantage of this $30B gold mine that the beneficiaries of nuclear power have already paid for. It truly is win-win… IF we get the politics out of it.

      For more information, please visit http://nv4cfe.org

    4. Pingback: The Science Is Settled, The Politics Are Something Else. « American Elephants

    5. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    6. Pingback: What’s Buried Beneath the Decision « Finding Ponies…

    7. J Frykman, Minneapol says:

      Obama believes in science like he believes in religion—only when it furthers his statist, Marxist agenda. He doesn't have a clue what science is about–it isn't about authority, it isn't about consensus. It's about the scientific method.

      The scientific method requires that any hypothesis be tested, and that the data used to formulate the hypothesis, including any algorithms used in calculations, be open and available for independent peer review. It must be free of experimental bias (looking for a specific result and using only the data that support it while ignoring all other evidence).

      Science is the new State Religion of the Left. Science cannot be politicized, or it will be little more than alchemy and astrology.

    8. David Lucht Mooresvi says:

      Yucca Mountain should not be needed to store nuclear waste. Nuclear waste should be reprocessed and used to make more electricity. The waste of the waste is a small fraction and its half life is much reduced.

      Heritage should drive to get the US to develop the technology (already used in France) to convert this waste into a reusable form asap.

      David Lucht

    9. Ron Grejtak Fishkill says:

      I am a chemical engineer. I was offered a job by the atomic energy commission

      in 1976 to reprocess nuclear fuel. One facility was in Idaho and the other in

      South Carolina. They described the process to me. Carter killed it in 78 or 79-

      I have never been able to find out why. So this denial of sound science is

      ensconced in the Democrats dna.

    10. Victor, White Plains says:

      Nick,

      When you refer to "President Obama’s rhetoric that the science is settled on climate change," are you referring to this statement from his State of the Union Address?

      "I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change."

      Because, if so, that's a far cry from asserting that science is settled. On the one hand, "overwhelming scientific evidence" is a product of the scientific method. On the other hand, "settled science" is a misnomer: science is a continuous process of inquiry and investigation.

      A question might be considered to be settled, but science cannot ever be.

    11. Joe says:

      You guys are missing the forest for the trees. The reason it's being abandoned is because it is geologically unstable. If an earthquake were to occur (which is likely given the area), the water table could rise into the plutonium storage area, allowing radioactive material to enter the water table and the atmosphere.

      But hey, thank God we got those jobs! So what if an entire water shed can no longer support life?

      You guys don't care. You'll just blame the liberal left for the job-loss. Even if the site was declared operational, you'd blame the "liberals" for causing a catastrophe. Talk about double standard.

      Try reading scientific papers before you fall back on an opinion site. In fact, here's a couple to get you started:

      http://www.sciencenews.org/ http://www.sciencedaily.com/

    12. Former Vegas Local says:

      I am sorry, but isn’t Nevada one of the few states that doesn’t produce nuclear waste for it self, yet now is supposed to allow itself to be a dumping ground for the poor planning of other states.

      I don’t see how any scientist could say that we would be 100% successful in our plans to “dispose” of it, whilst still continuing to create it. Having grown up in Las Vegas, locals were educated on both sides of this discussion. I’m not sure where any of the other commentors live, but surely they would not say yay so readily if it were their backyard or say sure as they plan to transport it through their front yard.

    13. Charley Miller says:

      We all realize President Obama never heard the joke, a little Nukie won't hurt anyone.

      I just don't understand what hes about, this doesn't make any sense (Punishment for the day) and in reality will cost millions if not billions in "unintended consequences."

      Charley Miller

      Unaffiliated for US Senate

      charleymiller2010

      PRO-Safe-Nuclear as our Childerns Future off the Fossil Fuel cycle Please

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