- July 9 - The Senate today pushed forward a dangerous measure that
would put nuclear waste on trucks and trains destined for storage at
Nevada's Yucca Mountain, despite the concerns of scientists and public
health officials. The Sierra Club expressed disappointment in Senators who
failed to protect Americans from nuclear waste.
"Yucca Mountain isn't a safe place to store radioactive waste," said
Club's Executive Director Carl Pope. "When it recommended Yucca, the Bush
Administration ignored more than 250 significant unresolved technical
issues with the Yucca Mountain site, including how quickly the waste
containers will leak radioactive waste into the aquifer beneath Yucca and
the likelihood of seismic activity."
"The Senate has made a grave mistake today, and we hope the courts will
halt this unsafe scheme. The Yucca plan puts the wishes of the nuclear
industry ahead of Americans' health and safety," Pope continued.
"Americans don't want convoys of nuclear waste on their roads and rails.
These shipments will thunder right next to our homes, schools, and
playgrounds. While the Senate made a terrible decision by approving the
Yucca proposal, we are grateful to Senator Harry Reid and the Nevada
delegation for standing up to the nuclear industry to protect our
The Yucca plan, backed by the Bush Administration and the nuclear industry,
calls for thousands of tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste to be
transported across the country on trucks, trains, and barges over the next
38 years. These deadly shipments would pass within half a mile of 50
million Americans. It would then be dumped at Yucca Mountain, just ninety
miles from Las Vegas, America's fastest growing city.
Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn vetoed the proposal in April. The House caved
to the powerful nuclear industry in May, sending the proposal to the
Senate. The state of Nevada and a number of groups have filed lawsuits to
protect Nevadans from health threats of Yucca Mountain.
"Decisions on what to do with the most dangerous substance we have created
must be grounded in science, not expedience, and the science shows Yucca is
unsafe," continued Pope. "We hope the courts will carefully examine
science behind Yucca Mountain to protect public health. Let's not start
moving nuclear waste around until we know we can transport it safely, it's
going to the right place and will be safely stored."