Democratic Underground  

The Yucca Mountain Plan
April 20, 2002
By Bob Nichols

Spent fuel rods used in nuclear reactors are poisonous. They contain uranium and plutonium, the most poisonous stuff on the planet. They do duty in any one of the 131 nuclear reactors in the US. Their job was to heat water for electricity. Plutonium is capable of producing temperatures of 50,000,000 degrees, water boils at 212 degrees.

Even when they are "used" and come out of the reactor core the rods must be cooled on the grounds of the reactor building for two years in a big swimming pool full of radioactive water. Standing next to these "used" uranium rods for 10 seconds is enough for a killing dose of radioactivity, a horrible and painful way to die. The rods are still so hot that if exposed to air very long, they catch on fire. When they catch on fire, the highly radioactive uranium and plutonium floats skyward for many miles, only to fall on unsuspecting downwind citizens. By the very act of breathing people capture the tiny particles in their lungs and can claim an "internal radiation source".

Our beloved government has decided, after 50 years of storage, that the 77,000 tons of uranium rods must be moved now, saying, "The rods are too dangerous too store at the reactors". The government wants to put 125 tons of rods into concrete and lead "casks" to move the rods to Yucca Mountain, Nevada, 90 miles from Las Vegas. Each cask's deadly cargo equals 400 times the Hiroshima A-Bomb blast.

It will take 25 years to move the stuff. The government states that they are going to put the 50,000 casks on open trucks and flatbed railroad cars to move it to Nevada. They want to truck the big, easily identifiable casks on hundreds of trucks and trains through cities like New York, Chicago, St. Louis and Muskogee, Oklahoma. The government's own experts predict at least 330 "wrecks".

Oklahoma gets the curse of 536 casks down two routes. One is in the eastern part of the state, another cuts through western Oklahoma. In the tests the government conducted on the casks, armor piercing rounds and shoulder held rockets go right through them like a knife through butter. An attack would contaminate a city or countryside for centuries. And, they want to transport the stuff for the next 25 years. Osamas as yet unborn have plenty of time to wipe out Muskogee, Oklahoma.

They can't even bury the stuff in Yucca Mountain fast enough to keep up. The casks will sit in the desert for years before they are all buried.

Sounds like it is a SciFi story, doesn't it? Sadly, every word is true. The Governor of Nevada was elected on a platform of "No Nuclear Waste". He is fighting the plan. But Congress is still trying to push the plan against the Governor's wishes.

Support the Governor of Nevada. Go to the the Public Citizen website to send a free fax to your Senators and Representatives.

Printer-friendly version
Tell a friend about this article Tell a friend about this article
Discuss this article
Democratic Underground Homepage