Nuclear waste is nothing to fear

Posted Sunday, 19 May 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

In response to the May 9 guest column by Sen. Jacky Rosen, “I refuse to allow GOP leaders to revive Yucca Mountain”: I’m a 30-year resident of Southern Nevada and a hazmat officer with 15 years of experience and I support the storage of nuclear waste in Nevada. The former Nevada Test Site, now the Nevada National Security Site, was home to 1,021 nuclear tests, both above and below ground. These tests have left the grounds of the site contaminated and not usable for many activities. What better place to store radioactive waste? Why place radioactive materials in other places that don’t already have radioactive contamination? Why not benefit from having the waste here? Rosen writes that transportation accidents with the materials are “severe.” But Sandia National Labs documented 53 incidents involving Class 7 (radioactive materials) in Class B containers (the type for high-level waste, such as spent fuel rods) and there were zero failed containers. There are thousands of shipments of radioactive materials daily, yet no “severe” accidents. This is fearmongering by Rosen. Can Rosen explain why the close proximity to the Nevada Test and Training Range represents a hazard and how it is a hindrance to our national security? The aircraft training out on the range come nowhere close to Yucca Mountain.

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