The problem is everyone wants to live the lifestyle nuclear power provides, UT no one wants to pay the price. Where do we put the waste and who should have to suffer so the majority of the population can prosper? Other questions that arise are why nuclear waste is so harmful and what can we do to Stop it. Nuclear waste is extremely difficult to handle. New tech analogies and advancement in waste treatment processes have made waste disposal safer, but it is still not absolutely safe.
Not only do we as a society have to worry about treating and containing the wastes; we also have to find sites to store the waste that will not allow it to spread, even under the worst tuitions. There are many classifications of waste. Spent nuclear fuel is the radioactive by-product of making electricity at commercial nuclear power plants. This form of waste contains hazardous chemicals and toxic heavy metals. It is also considered to be environmentally hazardous for thousands of years after it is used. The current method of disposing of these waste materials is to store then in steel-lined concrete tanks filled with water.
However, this form of storage is not permanent and the nuclear plants will eventually run out of storage space. In 1 983, the U. S. Department of Energy selected nine locations in six different states for consideration as potential deposit sites. This was based on data collected for nearly 10 years. The nine sites were studied and results were reported in 1985. Based on these reports, the president approved three of the original six sites for intensive scientific study. The three selected sites were Hanford, Washington; Deaf Smith County, Texas; and Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
The Yucca Mountain Project is now being put through the necessary steps for completion. Yucca Mountain is located on government owned land in a emote area of Nevada. The proposed plan is the first national permanent waste facility and will cost an estimated 6. 3 billion dollars. The project will include borrowing massive tunnels through the mountain’s inner rock and then placing the storage tanks inside. Obviously, there is much public concern over the project. One of the largest concerns is the possibility of seismic activity rupturing the tunnel and/ or canisters.
At present, the 14th US Congress, house Resolution 1924 proposed to make Hanford, Washington, the western US site for temporary outrage, and it would be by default the permanent disposal place of spent nuclear fuel from IIS reactors. This resolution stemmed from a growing recognition that Yucca Mountains, in Nevada, is a less than brilliant location for this purpose. The US government has no fallback position should the project at Yucca Mountain fail. Yucca Mountain is not a sound solution for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The decision to site Yucca Mountain as a waste repository was based on politics, not science.
There continues to be much controversy over the issue and many questions guarding the collected data stating that Yucca Mountain was a good site to build the storage facility for the sensitive substance is being thoroughly investigated. Geologists against the proposed solution say the geology of Yucca Mountain, volcanic tuff, is not expected to provide an adequate barrier in the long term. “The Energy Department said Wednesday that a United States Geological Survey worker had “indicated that he had fabricated documentation of his work” in e-mails written between May 1 998 to 2000.
This, added to a long list of uncertain documents and proceedings does not kook good for finding a solution to nuclear waste management. The idea of putting all your eggs into one basket is not an ideal solution process, but it seems to be the one the government has chosen for our nuclear waste problem, jeopardizing all of our lives in the long run. Certainly, with the way the government has chosen to handle this fragile situation something will get overlooked and thousands of years from now this waste could leak into our most valuable natural resource (our water system) and deplete our population rapidly.