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Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Published March 1, 2024

A $13 billion failure

The Obama administration slashed funding for Yucca Mountain, while not giving any other plans for nuclear storage.

The Obama administration and Energy Secretary Steven Chu have scrapped almost total funding for Yucca Mountain âÄî the massive nuclear storage facility 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas that has been under construction for years. While almost all the funding was slashed for the facility, no definite plan was put into place, just the announcement that a permanent plan is in the works. This will ultimately leave the responsibility up to the state on negotiating with power companies on where to store the nuclear waste they accumulate. Going back to step one was not necessary, as Yucca Mountain proved sufficient for the storage of nuclear waste. The Yucca Mountain attributes seemed to make perfect sense when looking for a good site to store this dangerous material. It was remote, was geographically sound, had a deep water table and a very dry climate. In 1987, Congress realized this, and started the massive facility to take on the federal governmentâÄôs role in housing the material quickly and in a universally and ordered fashion. But now, the governmentâÄôs ability to again delay a long-term project to store nuclear waste threatens people everywhere. With the hundreds of new applications pouring in for the construction of potential nuclear power plants in the United States, there is still no universal procedure to store their radioactive waste. Yucca Mountain was a safe alternative that could be finished within a considerable amount of time. The Obama administration needs to explain exactly why they slashed funding for Yucca Mountain, and what they will do to fix the problem that will never go away. Thirteen billion was wasted at Yucca Mountain; now is the time to effectively spend the next large sum of resources on a project that will help contain nuclear waste.

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