Our very own Democratic President Barack Obama and Sen. Dick Durbin have abandoned their constituent's well-being in order to kiss Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's butt. Illinois continues to be home to one of the nation's largest accumulations of "temporarily" stored nuclear fuel, because Reid has used his power to block a permanent and environmentally safe nuclear waste deposit at Yucca Mountain in his home state of Nevada.
A Chicago Tribune editorial delves into the issue, "Harry Reid vs Yucca Mountain," noting:
While Yucca sits empty, spent nuclear fuel piles up across the nation. Illinois has the largest stockpile of any state, including about 1,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel stored not far from Lake Michigan, at Exelon's now-shuttered Zion power plant.
Obama's shortsighted decision has stranded 72,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel at 74 sites scattered in 34 states, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a Washington-based nuclear industry trade group.
The [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] will produce three more Yucca safety volumes in the next several months. But the conclusion already is rock solid: Yucca's storage caverns — 1,000 feet below the surface and 1,000 feet above the water table in the Nevada desert — are safe. They are geologically stable.
I've also delved into this issue before, noting:
Engineers and scientists say the spent fuel could pose a greater danger than a meltdown of the core reactors. Common sense and science dictate that spent fuel should be stored far away from the power plant, someplace permanent that wouldn't magnify the consequences of a catastrophic accident....
There's a technology, called the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR), that could produce abundant, safe, environmentally friendly and less expensive nuclear power. IFR supporters said it would provide an inexhaustible and domestic fuel supply, while solving the spent-fuel problem.
Argonne National Laboratory, whose baby it was, demonstrated at its Idaho reactor development facility that the technology could safely shut down power plants in both the Chernobyl- and Three Mile Island-type accidents.....
Despite IFR's promise, the newly elected Clinton and his energy secretary, Hazel O'Leary, with the support of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., successfully torpedoed the program. Illinois Democrats -- the then-Rep. Dick Durbin and Sens. Carol Moseley Braun and Paul Simon -- cognizant of IFR's jobs, first supported the project, but later joined other Democrats to cancel funding. They were for it before they were against it.
Obama appointed appointed another study to verify the safety of Yucca Mountain, clearly a Keystone Pipeline-type delaying tactic because studies already have cleared the site. And Durbin--what a piece of work--might have been in a position to do something as Reid's right-hand tool. But like tools everywhere, Durbin caved into Reid's clearly anti-science demand.
Something to remember when you go to vote tomorrow.
For information on my award-winning historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812," visit: http://www.madness1812.com
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