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Opinion

Readers React: Don’t make Nevada store the rest of the country’s nuclear waste

Pete Vavricka
A train emerges from one of the portals at Yucca Mountain in Nevada in 2006.
(Isaac Breekken / Associated Press)

To the editor: The editorial encouraging Congress to open the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site in Nevada employs “out of sight, out of mind” reasoning.

While pointing out the inherent fallibility of even the best storage containers for spent nuclear fuel, the editorial advocates trusting in the Yucca Mountain site for millenniums.

Nevada does not produce nuclear power waste — yet it should store all the waste from the rest of the country? If Yucca Mountain were to become operational, nuclear power advocates would claim to have a permanent waste storage facility, and soon new nuclear power plants would be on the drawing board.

Putting all our eggs in one basket is a recipe for disaster. It’s far better for those who produce the waste to find a way to safely store it locally. Transporting all nuclear waste in this nation to Yucca Mountain is fraught with risk of accident or terrorism.

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The right solution is to shut down all nuclear power plants and stop producing a nightmare for future generations to live with.

Bill Say, Simi Valley

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To the editor: The editorial could have mentioned the fact that this part of Nevada — earlier called the Nevada Test Site — has been extensively used for nuclear weapons testing.

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Up until about a half-century ago, nuclear weapons were detonated at this site above ground, in the atmosphere. Up until the early 1990s, tests took place underground.

In the 1980s, my F-16 fighter pilot brother-in-law said the Nevada Test Site looked like a moonscape, with so many craters from weapons tests. Now, anyone can see this inhospitable landscape on Google Earth.

Bob Wieting, Simi Valley

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