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Is Yucca Mountain a good idea?

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    Reference: Yucca Mountain

    Storing nuclear waste in a deep underground repository. Extremely low water table. No population center nearby. No chance of leaks anytime soon. To me this sounds like a much better alternative to polluting the air with oil and coal power.

    Do you think it's a good idea?
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    "Obama has taken the Yucca Mountain option for storing nuclear waste off the table. In a blow to the nuclear power industry, the budget released by President Obama last week eliminates most funding for Yucca Mountain, the Nevada site that for decades has been proposed for the permanent burial of radioactive nuclear waste.

    “President Obama recognizes that the proposed dump threatens the health and safety of Nevadans and millions of Americans. His commitment to stop this terrible project could not be clearer” [Washington Post].

    The decision fulfills a campaign promise made by Obama, but offers no hint of what his administration plans to do instead with the country’s existing nuclear waste, or with the approximately 2,000 tons generated each year by nuclear power plants. The Yucca site was designed specifically to handle spent fuel rods from the nation’s 103 nuclear generators…. Keeping the waste at temporary sites is an option in the short term, but experts in the field say it will not serve as a long-term answer for the problem of radioactive waste, which will need to be kept safely stored for at least 1,000 years. Others have advocated reprocessing much of the spent fuel, as is being done in France, but this too is fraught with problems, according to some experts [Washington Post].
    The decision will likely be an expensive one, considering how much money the federal government might end up owing the utility industry, and how much—up to $10.4 billion—has already been spent and will have been wasted on the search for a nuclear waste repository since 1983.  The courts have already awarded the companies about $1 billion, because the government signed contracts obligating it to begin taking the waste in 1998, but seems unlikely to do so for years. The nuclear industry says it may demand the return of the $22 billion that it has paid to the Energy Department to establish a repository, but that the government has not yet spent [The New York Times]."

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    Yeah, I know the idea has been shot down, but no better idea has ever been presented. Just because someone shoots down an idea doesn't make it a bad idea.  I think that it will do the least amount of damage in Yucca Mountain. The other option would be to launch it into space or something.

    On top of that. Every single model shows that Yucca Mountina will be safe for at least 1,000 years. Technology grows by leaps and bounds every decade. The idea that some better option would present itself by the time Yucca Mountain starts to fail is very likely. We need sources of energy that are better than gas, coal, and oil, I was a little disappointed that one of the first acts this president does is against nuclear energy, a cleaner, safer, and more effeicient power source.
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    1) I never said it was a bad idea. Obama did.
    2) There are worries about the area being too riddled with earthquakes, that could cause and unwanted flood of Yucca Mountain. See article
    There are also worries about all that nuclear waste in one location being a terroist attraction. See article
    3) As to new suggestions. People are trying to find some. Do we really want only one location? And my long til we have too much to deal with? Maybe we should be looking to chemists to find some sort of reversal or decomposition of the compound.
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    The earthquakes aren't that big of a worry from what I have read in other articles. The water table is so low that it would take an unprecedented seismic event to risk flooding. Other damage to the chamber can be repaired.

    Not doing something that is beneficial for society because it may attract terrorists is absurd. Should people stop using the Golden Gate Bridge because it may attract terrorist attention? Should we not build a new skyscraper or a new sports stadium because of suicide bombers? I believe that anyone who tries to use 'terrorists threat' as a reason not to do something has just run out of good, logical reasons to back up his point and I feel that the arguement is actually weakened when someone does cite terrorism to back up their idea. I won't be turned away from making progress just because someone might try and destroy that progress.
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    Unfortunatly, the day in this age where we cannot take into account terrorism is over. And I would love to see some of those articles you have read backing up your information.
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    ^ "Technical Basis Document No. 14: Low Probability Seismic Events". Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. U.S. Department of Energy. June 2004.

    It's a long, brutal read, but it was released by the Dept. of Energy after 20 years of research on the area. In a nutshell it says, the seismic activity of the area is not major enough to comprimise the repository and any rise in the water table would not be more that 10 to 30 meters, coming nowhere near the level needed to flood the respository.

    I'm all for taking the terrorist threat into account, but I'm against changing the way we live and stoping progress because of something that might happen. The facility should absolutley be secured, and our government has a pretty good track record of keeping people away from certain installations. Look at Area 51 and Fort Knox.