Sunday, July 31, 2011

Nuclear waste report calls for new geologic repository

The report of the blue ribbon commission on nuclear waste is calling for "A new organization dedicated solely to implementing the waste management program and empowered with the authority and resources to succeed," including development of one or more geologic disposal facilities and one or more consolidated interim storage facilities.

The report was triggered by the President's decision to stop development of the Yucca Mountain underground storage site in Nevada [right, credit, DOE]

The commission calls for "a new, consent-based approach to siting future nuclear waste management facilities," which implies finding a host locale that will accept or even invite it.

Arizona State Senator Al Melvin (R-Marana) has been advocating putting a high-level waste site in Arizona along with a fuel reprocessing facility.


  1. State Fossil7:51 AM

    Here we go again! In the 1980s the USGS conducted a review of geologic suitability for storage of low-level rad waste in Basin and Range basins in the Western U.S. A number of areas were identified that have low rainfall, significant depth to the water table, salt depostits, low seismicity, low population density, substantial federally managed land, etc. The USGS published the results of the study.

    Consent-based approach? We've seen how that worked in Nevada - I believe the county in which the Yucca Mtn. site is located favored it because of the positive impact it would have on the local economy. The State of Nevada opposed the site from day one because Nevada didn't want to be viewed as the dumping ground for the U.S.

    In Arizona when a low-level disposal site was proposed near the community of Maricopa the locals came unglued. About the same time a member of the State legislature from Yuma said any such facility in his district would be over his dead body. When a proposal was made to convert the abandoned open-pit mine north of Casa Grande into a solid waste disposal facility, area residents were opposed because they didn't want to be the dumping ground for Phoenix.

    Disposal of radioactive waste will not be a geologic problem - it's entirely political.

  2. Anonymous12:55 PM

    In the meantime people keep getting diagnosed with cancer and thyroid problems. What about the people living there have they been informed about the hazard condition that is invisible but will soon be felt in their body?