ANS applauds President Bush's endorsement of Yucca Mountain
La Grange Park, IL (February 15, 2002)
- President George W. Bush's endorsement of Yucca Mountain as a suitable geological repository is a major step toward the nation's objective of providing safe storage of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste, says the American Nuclear Society.
"While this is just one step toward our ultimate goal of seeing the Department of Energy obtain a license for repository construction, it clears a major hurdle toward solving one of the most controversial issues involving nuclear energy," said ANS President Dr. Gail H. Marcus. "Yucca Mountain faces more challenges ahead, but we are confident President Bush made his decision based on measurable scientific data. We have high confidence that Yucca Mountain is a suitable site, and we are ready to help in the process of proceeding to the next stage of repository development."
The next stop for Yucca Mountain is Nevada, where Gov. Kenny Guinn and the state legislature are expected to veto the recommendation. The expected veto would then send the issue to the U.S. Congress for debate and an up-or-down vote in both Houses.
"It is our hope that Congress will recognize the features of Yucca Mountain that our members, as well as the Department of Energy, embraced when endorsing this site: that it has the characteristics and the engineering to exceed the high regulatory standard for public health and safety," said Marcus. "We're convinced, based on pre-closure and post-closure assessments of Yucca Mountain, that the combination of site and design features provide public health protection with a considerable margin of safety."
Work performed by the DOE, national laboratories and other government agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency provide an impressive comprehensive collection of interdisciplinary studies and reports. Those studies concluded that the Yucca Mountain site is well suited to become the nation's first geological repository.
"Yucca Mountain represents a huge step for the future of nuclear energy," added Marcus. "We applaud President Bush for his commitment to nuclear energy, and his strong endorsement of Yucca Mountain."
More information regarding ANS' position on Yucca Mountain can be found at: http://www.ans.org/pi/news/d-1002899330