Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Pic of the day

Wild snapdragon and dahlia

WASHINGTON - Even if no new reactors are built, getting rid of the country's nuclear waste will cost $96.2 billion and require a major expansion of the planned Nevada waste dump beyond limits imposed by Congress, the Energy Department said Tuesday.

The revised cost estimate for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas came as the presumed Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, renewed his call for building as many as 45 new power reactors by 2030.

Such an expansion would require a waste disposal program well beyond what is envisioned by the current Yucca Mountain project, which itself has been highly controversial.

McCain is a strong supporter of the Yucca site, while his Democratic presidential rival, Sen. Barack Obama, has opposed it and believes other options should be examined. Obama also has shown little enthusiasm for new reactor construction.

The government now says the Yucca Mountain project in Nevada will cost $38.7 billion more than was anticipated in 2001 when the Energy Department estimated the life cycle cost of the program at $57.5 billion.

Ward Sproat, the Energy Department official in charge of the federal nuclear waste program, said $16 billion of that increase is pegged to inflation. The program also has become more expensive because Yucca will have to accept more waste than previously had been anticipated since current reactors are being allowed to operate longer, he said.

So, while Bushco's inflation is costing us $16 billion on this project alone, it looks like we'll be paying for an expansion in this highly flawed plan to the tune of nearly $23 billion, because the powers that be are letting our old nuke plants operate beyond their planned lifetimes. We will also be carting highly radioactive materials all through our countryside - inviting attacks from who-knows-who, and then concentrating this material in an earthquake zone.

McCain is cheerleading this plan, and calling for 45 more dangerous and polluting plants to be built. If we were to build all the new nuke plants they're calling for, all the uranium we can get to on this earth will only last 10 years*. All the while, no one knows where we'll put the waste (which would be deadly for over a million years) from these newly proposed plants. Almost one for every state.

Where in YOUR state could McLame's new reactor be safely built?

read the whole thing

* (A year's worth of power requires 192,720 tons. 2.3 million tons would last 11.93 years, at 1 TW per year. Even worse, the arithmetic shows that uranium would be depleted during the 30-year ramp-up period. We'd never get our 11.93 years of going full bore.) The article this is taken from is here



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