Agency for Nuclear Projects Reaction to Yucca Mountain Report - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Agency for Nuclear Projects Reaction to Yucca Report

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Nevada officials reacted critically to the release of a report by the majority staff of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology criticizing the Obama Administration's decision to terminate the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository program.

Statement from Agency for Nuclear Projects, Acting Executive Director Joseph Strolin.

"The Majority Staff Report should have applied the principle that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," said Joe Strolin, Acting Director of the State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects. "The Report touts scientific integrity but then ignores scientific integrity when it asserts that all scientific information supports the safety of Yucca Mountain."

"You would never know from the Report that thousands of pages of scientific studies in the public record of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing proceeding, and substantial testimony before at least one House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, document hundreds of grave safety problems with disposal of high-level radioactive wastes at Yucca Mountain," Strolin said.

"Apparently, the Committee staff never bothered to review the very detailed and well supported documents that are publicly available in the NRC's Yucca Mountain licensing database," he said.

Strolin noted that the Report also touts transparency, but then ignores transparency by citing and describing conclusions in a draft NRC staff report that is still undergoing peer review and cannot be disclosed publicly, making the Committee staff's conclusions about the safety of disposal at Yucca Mountain no more transparent than a brick wall.

"The report also represents a very one-sided view of the issues and history of the Yucca project that led the program to where it is today," said Strolin. "For example, the report conveniently skips over the fact that Yucca was selected as the only site to be evaluated in 1987 for purely political reasons in spite of known problems with the site."

Strolin noted that the report makes one passing reference to Congress amending the Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 1987 without acknowledging the gutting of the original Act that took place and the raw political muscle used by the likes of then House Speaker Jim Wright (TX), House Majority Leader Tom Foley (WA), Energy Committee Chair Sen. J. Bennett Johnston (LA) and a host of others to assure that sites in their states would not be selected.

The bottom line, Strolin said, is that both DOE and Nevada believe Yucca Mountain is not a workable option for solving the problem of nuclear waste disposal, and the one-sided presentation contained in the Committee's report doesn't change that fact or move the country one inch closer to a viable solution.

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