Nuclear Stupidity at Yucca Mountain

What a deal! Nuclear power corporations get billions of dollars in subsidies from us taxpayers, then they get all the profits from the energy that is sold, and in exchange they want to give us taxpayers their nuclear waste -- all 77,000 tons of it.

What to do with it? Stuff it in Yucca Mountain, their lobbyists urge, out of sight and out of mind in far away Nevada. Indeed, we would be out of our minds to do this, not only because it's another multibillion-dollar giveaway to these private profit-making corporations, but especially because it's a deadly move for the rest of us. It would require convoys of trucks and rail cars to haul their waste, cutting a new radioactive trail across 42 states and through dozens of our cities. Nor does the danger end once the stuff arrives at Yucca Mountain, since it's a volcanic ridge laced with 34 earthquake faults poised over the aquifer that provides water for Nevada and California.

George W, who is loaded with campaign cash from the nuke boys and is eager to please them, recently rubber-stamped their scheme. It's safe, he declared. Sure George ... about as safe as letting the baby play with a hand grenade.

In fact, Bush is so eager to do this corporate favor that he has okayed the scheme before the energy department has even designed the canisters that are supposed to hold this hot waste for 10,000 years, before it knows how to seal the tunnels that will hold the canisters, before it has solved the rather large problem of water corroding the canisters, and before some 300 other scientific and engineering questions have been resolved.

Bush & Company claims that these are mere technical matters that someone can deal with later, even though independent scientific experts scoff at this idea and say that the administration is clueless about what it's doing at Yucca Mountain.

This is Jim Hightower saying ... To get congress to stop this stupidity, call the watchdog group, Critical Mass: 202-454-5130.

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