INVERHURON, Ontario – February 7, 2002
Governor Threatens to Veto Bush
Does Yucca meet U-S Standards for nuclear waste storage?
What about Canada’s plans?
The heart of an extinct volcano, deep in the Nevada desert, far from major population centres, may not be the safest bet as the permanent storage site for U-S spent nuclear materials after all.
Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn and two U-S senators are in Washington, D.C. today, trying to convince President Bush that he should not approve Yucca Mountain as the nation’s nuclear waste dump. Bush is said ready as early as this weekend to give his nod to U-S Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham’s recommendation that Yucca Mountain be the graveyard for 77,000 tons of military and industrial nuclear waste, starting as early as 2010.
Governor Guinn says there are some 292 issues in the way of such approval, not the least of which is that what Guinn calls a $77 billion project has never had an environmental assessment. As the governor points out, even small housing developments have to have an E.A.
But the federal government has already spent $8.8 billion into developing the Yucca site and the feeling in Washington is that it the White House would consider it very bad politics to toss away such a sum.
Guinn says he is ready to use his constitutional power of veto over a Bush’s approval of Yucca. If he does veto the President’s decision, the matter then goes before Congress. Armed with affidavits and reports from scientists, environmentalists and state regulators, Guinn is determined to take his stand. And around the U-S, scientists and environmentalists are coming forward, many suggesting that the Yucca site does not even meet the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) and DOE’s (Department of Energy) own standards for waste storage.
Here in Canada, the Bruce Centre is left to wonder: if the isolated, inland Yucca Mountain site is a questionable choice, what of Canada’s plans for nuclear waste storage? As it stands, equally dangerous nuclear waste from 21 of Canada’s 23 reactors is to be contained above ground and at ground level, near the shorelines of Lakes Huron and Ontario in the Great Lakes Basin, for the foreseeable future.