The Yucca Mountain Is Not Safe

1629 words - 7 pages

The United States Department of Energy plans to turn Yucca Mountain into the nation’s first high-level nuclear waste repository. This will only happen if Congress finds the site safe. The Yucca Mountain is, in fact, not safe. The Yucca Mountain should not be the repository site of the nation due to miscommunication in the future, experiments gone badly and not enough support. It is not a good idea for the government to spend billions of dollars on a project that might or might not work in the future. Scientists and politicians will always debate about Yucca Mountain but the truth is simple and the facts all point to no. Yucca Mountain is not the safest place to store all of the nation’s ...view middle of the document...

Disposing of nuclear fuel by placing it deep in the earth is a race against time and corrosion. A race that the proposed long-term nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain knows they will eventually lose. To begin with, Yucca Mountain is a six-mile long, 1,200-foot high, flat-topped volcanic ridge about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas designated for storing the nation’s waste. The mountain’s storage repository site has been a big debate among researchers, environmentalists, and politicians for the past two decades. The debate is about whether the mountain is safe enough to store the nation’s waste. The Department of Energy may want the public to believe the Mountain is safe in order to pacify the public. A few of the reasons why the mountain is not safe are unexpected leakage in containers, experiments gone wrong, public health, and premature ideas.
To start off with, leakage plays an important role in whether the mountain is safe or not. According to Roush, the central scientific question in this controversial project is not whether the waste will leak out of the large metal casks that contain it but when. The project is literally a race against time. Water is also one of the main reasons leakage may occur. According to the book “About a Mountain”, Dr. Victor Gilinsky, a physicist from the California Institute of Technology, testified against Congress about the Yucca Mountain project. Gilinsky explains water is the most corrosive substances. The existence of water anywhere in the mountain can cause cracks in the vessels and then the vessels can easily start leaking, distributing the pollutants to local citizens. Since the mountain is nine percent water, it can crack, crush, and transport boulders across the nation. Enthusiasts of the Yucca Mountain project need to realize how dangerous this project can be because of the unpredictable results.
In Muller’s article “Nuclear Waste”, he reminds his audience of the harmful risks of leakage and radiation and how it can affect the current and later generations. “How can we possible live long enough to see if this waste is kept safe from leaking? He presents his case with facts and strong opinions that claim the US government persists in its pursuit of “safe“nuclear waste disposal. He explains that in order for hazardous nuclear waste to pose a danger there would have to be 1% or greater chance for it to leak and contaminate our society. He explores the idea that there is a greater chance of being exposed to the same radioactive material by drinking Los Angeles’ tap water. Although later he contradicts his first claim by saying “the problem really isn’t as hard as I portrayed it (Muller 210)”. From this we can guess that there are much worse dangers in the world for example the Colorado River. Paying so much attention to a less severe problem can cause catastrophe to an even bigger problem that is not getting attention.
The next big problem of the Yucca Mountain project is the multiple failed...

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