Nuclear Waste Disposal At Yucca Mountain: Right Or Wrong? Essay

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Nuclear Waste Disposal At Yucca Mountain: Right or Wrong?

As the United States' nuclear waste buildup becomes larger, the need for
a permanent storage facility becomes more urgent. One proposed site is in the
Yucca Mountains of Nevada. This makes many Nevadans uneasy, as visions of
three-legged babies and phosphorescent people come to mind. This is an
unfounded worry, as many reasons prove. In fact, the Yucca Mountains provide an
ideal site for a permanent underground nuclear waste facility in the U.S.
While the Yucca Mountains are the best site we have found as of yet,
this procedure will cost a huge amount of taxpayer dollars. The Department of
Energy (DOE) estimates the total cost of its high-level waste management
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That is why the Yucca Mountains are being
speculatively chosen for this purpose. Throughout the United States, no better
area has been found.
Safety of this hazardous material is not only crucial in it's final
resting place. Security en route to the site is also of utmost importance. If
this site is chosen, a safe transportation method will be needed to move the
radioactive materials to the Yucca mountains. Vehicles, that will only be used
once, will have to be custom built for safety and security, as will containers
for the spent fuel rods. This would also be, however unlikely, a prime target
for a terrorist attack. There would be no way to hide a biohazard convoy, so
extra security measures must be taken. All of these measures add up to extra
costs, obviously. And as the nation waits, the costs multiply.
But expenses are second only to safety of the facility and speed in
which it is constructed. At the present moment, all of the United State's
nuclear waste is held in above-ground pools and airtight casks, inside the
country's many commercial power plants. This is all right for now, but how much
longer will there be enough space to hold thousands of metric tons of
radioactive materials? And the longer these materials sit above ground, the
greater the odds of a catastrophe. These hazardous materials must be placed and
stored in a stable environment soon, where the risk is significantly lower.
While these…

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