Mona Charen sheds some light on politicos behaving badly, and not in the national interest (shocked, shocked, I am…) The topic is the long-studied and ready to go Yucca Mountain project for permanent storage of civilian nuclear waste.
As a nuclear engineer who’s worked on civilian and military nuclear reactor projects*, I’ve got to say that opposing Yucca is a badge of dishonor for politicians.
Aside from the foolish expenditure of funds to go back to square one on a permanent repository, there is the immediate security issue: does anyone believe it is more secure to have highly radioactive and toxic spent fuel dispersed at dozens of locations around the country, or centrally localized in a remote desert? Individual utilities now must stow the spent fuel from their reactors; many are uncomfortably close to civilian population centers. Tempting targets, indeed, for sabotage.
So, thank you, Ms Charen, for your article, shedding some light on the hypocrisy of Obama, Reid, et.al.
There are, however, two things in her article that I would take some issue with. The first is “There is nothing dishonorable about opposing nuclear energy.” Yes, actually, there is. Nuclear power is safe; much safer in its fuel cycle than its most likely substitute, coal. Nuclear power is safe, proven, reliable, available now, and does not make us more beholden to foreign or unstable sources (coal does this, as well, of course…) To oppose nuclear power is a form of religious observance for the left; facts be damned. It isn’t just the greenies, although they overlap rather well with the left.
Second is the understatement, perhaps of the year: that there is “something dishonest about claiming to favor nuclear power while simultaneously short-circuiting the most viable solution to the problem of long-term waste storage.” No, not “something dishonest.” Just plain dishonest.
* I’ve never worked on the Yucca project, but have toured and been thoroughly briefed on the site and the project with the military.