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March 21, 2011
Nuclear Townhall
From the Editors


The immediate reaction from anti-nuclear activists to the nuclear crisis in Japan is likely to be an immediate call to close down similar American plants and stop relicensing. Pickets are already preparing to assemble outside Vermont Yankee and Indian Point.

Reasoned concern is likely, however, to focus around the issue of spent fuel. As the events at Fukushima have revealed, the spent fuel pools can be potentially vulnerable and on-site stockpiles are mounting in the U.S.
The Chicago Tribune tackles this question in an editorial this weekend, leading to the inevitable conclusion – why not revive Yucca Mountain:

“Obvious question: Why do nuclear plants store spent fuel that way?

“Obvious answer in the U.S.:

Yucca Mountain isn’t open. In the 1980s, the federal government launched plans to develop nuclear waste storage carved into the mountain in Nevada and let it slowly and harmlessly decay.

But lawsuits, politics and environmental challenges stalled the project for decades.”

The Tribune takes the Obama Administration to task for its ongoing attempt to terminate the project, largely at the behest of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“The decision to mothball Yucca was a huge mistake, and the Obama administration should recognize that in the wake of the nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan. . . .

“Wake-up call: Illinois is home to more spent fuel rods than any other state in the nation.”

Read more at the Chicago Tribune

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