Friday, August 19, 2005

Good for a million years

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced standards for maintaining public safety from the effects of radiation at the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository under construction in nearby Nevada. According to press accounts the bureaucrats have a plan and working document designed to protect public health for a million years or, in the words of an EPA administrator, "the next 25,000 generations of Americans".

I don't think you have to be expert to know that a million years is a whole lotta of future and these standards are nothing more than fantasy cooked up to be consumed as a public ritual of order and control. Only through the allocation of non-voluntarily gathered funds (your tax dollars) could such an absurd proposal be produced with a straight face. Could someone sell a million-year plan in the private sector? For what and to whom?

And you think you've heard it all.

Next blog on ants.


Skeeter said...

"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled the EPA improperly limited its benchmark to 10,000 years. A National Academies of Science study ordered by Congress concluded in 1995 that long-lived radioactive particles could be escaping from Yucca Mountain at maximum dose levels for as long as 1 million years."

That's from the article you cited in your post. Not that it's any less silly, but there is a reason for the 1 million years.

The maximum dose rates they are referring to are 350 mr/year above background. I had a limit of 500 mr/year when I worked for the Navy.

I think whats going on here is nobody, especially Nevada politicians want the stuff in their backyard, so they are placing every possible hoop they can in front of them so it doesn't happen.
This issue has been going on since Clinton's office started on it.

This is a states rights case plain and simple, but I've got news for Nevada. Unless they put up the national guard, militia, and every swingin' dick on the border, the waste is going to Yucca.
If you knew how much stuff was piling up around this country waiting for the Yucca issue to be resolved, you would freak out. Its got to go somewhere soon and Yucca is the best place for it.

Of course, we could do what the French do (can't believe I just wrote that) and establish recycling programs for nuclear waste. But we're too smart for that we figure we'll just bury it. In my opinion it's pitiful that the US doesn't have 5 times as many Nuclear power plants as France does, but as it is they've got more.

beamis said...

Much of this waste will be passing through my community on its way to Nevada. And yes you are right, other silly people using tax money brought the one million year figure into the equation. And you're also correct that it doesn't make it any less silly.