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Example research essay topic: Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste - 1,161 words

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Yucca Mountain nuclear waste The controversy, surrounding the issue of proposed nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada has been around since the time when in 1978 U.S. Department of Energy (DEO) started to look for the suitable location to have such depository at. At present time, the deadly waste is stored at 131 different sites throughout the USA, making it ever harder to insure that safety standards are being maintained at every particular location. On July 23, 2002 President Bush signed a House Joint Resolution 87. It allows DEO to continue with its plans to make a nuclear waste depository at proposed location. The Department of Energy is now preparing an application to obtain Nuclear Regulatory Commissions permission to proceed further with its plans. In addition it has to be noted that Yucca Mountain is located in a remote desert in about hundred miles northwest of Las Vegas.

It is the safest location within continental US to have a depository of this sort. Results of numerous geological, bio-chemical and physical tests have effectively proven this location to be more than suitable for the intended purpose. Yet, in recent years the project of nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain has come under a lot of criticism from private citizens and various environmental organizations. Their main point is that Yucca Mountain is not the safest place to store the deadliest substance ever known to men, as it is vulnerable to earthquakes and volcanic activity. This cannot be argued of course, as there are no locations immune to possibility of earthquakes on the map of USA. We can only talk of higher or lower risks of this happening and Yucca Mountain is the one where such risk is very low. Environmentalists another powerful argument is the fact that Yucca Mountain used to be called a Moving Hill by the Native Americans Thanks to environmentalists, there is much of an uncertainty about whether implementation of a project is going to proceed according to plan or not. The State of Nevada, Citizen Alert, and other environmental groups nationwide have sued the Environmental Protection Agency because they believe that the will of Congress was being violated.

Congress, in its turn, has instructed EPA to be ruled by National Academy of Sciences standards of how nuclear waste is to be dealt with. They meet radiation exposure limits of 300,000 years for storage of radioactive waste, yet EPA rightly considers this to be a bit too unrealistic and it had set a compliance period of 10.000 years. Federal Appeals Court has agreed with Congress on July 9, 2004. It has offered EPA to revise its radiation standards according to National Academy of Sciences demands or to apply for Congress permission to be exempted from having to comply with Academys recommendations. So the case is still very much hangs in the air, while there is more and more nuclear waste is being collected and stored in an immediate proximity to many American cities. This fact doesnt seem to be much of a concern to environmentalists. In my opinion, we deal with another case of American society being divided when it comes to making important decision.

Different secular agendas of many people that make this nation, do not allow them to rise above their immediate concerns for the sake of higher goal. Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 is being called Screw the Nevada Act by Nevadans. It appears that they wouldnt mind if nuclear waste depository was to be established elsewhere, but not in their state. This attitude is referred to as screw everybody else but us. One of Citizens Alert activists, Peggy Maze Johnson, gets rather hysterical in her The Wrong State, the Wrong Mountain article: At the heart of this issue is the production of nuclear waste itself. We all need to contact our elected officials and tell them they cannot allow more nukes until the nuclear industry figures out what to do with this deadly substance instead of where to put it! (1). Peggys mind cannot grasp simple fact that finding solution of how to reprocess nuclear waste does not depend on good will of those who provide Peggys comfy house with electrical power.

It is very likely that there is no solution is going to be found ever, just as it happened with ill famed project of sewage sludge recycling, which resulted in poisoning of great many acres of land, where sludge was being used as fertilizer. Now we witness the return of an old concept of landfills as a best solution when it comes to dealing with poisonous waste. It is not as much about the nature of waste as it is about our willingness as citizens to make a certain sacrifices if we to enjoy those conveniences that our civilization has to offer. Not long ago, Democratic candidate John Kerry has pledged that there is going to be no nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain if hes to be elected. It is rather irresponsible claim on his part, as the problem of how to dispose of nuclear waste is universal one. A former Nevada governor Robert List said: The bottom line is he's clearly playing politics to get Nevada's electoral votes.

He's trying to turn a scientific decision into a political one and I think the people of Nevada will see right through it"(2). It appears much likely that debate over Yucca Mountain nuclear dump is going to continue, but sooner or later were to make a decision where to store deadly waste. Of course there are voices on far right that USA would be much better off storing such waste in one of under developed third world country. Yet, the practical application of such policy will result in even more hatred towards America, so it might not be beneficial in the long run. For all sober minded citizens of this country, it appears self-evident that so far there is no effective way of reprocessing nuclear waste, it has to be stored and we better do it in the most studied piece of land on the planet", as Yucca Mountain is very often referred to. In the wake of recent terrorist attacks on America, we cant afford deadly chemicals being stored at different locations all over the country, as it makes them easier to access for those whore in the state of Holy war with our country.

Those environmentalists that are so much in favor of safety better think of this aspect as well. This world is a much different place from what it used to be in sixties In my opinion, Yucca Mountain is a perfect place for storing nuclear waste and government needs to proceed with it. Bibliography: Peggy Maze Johnson, AlterNet. Posted August 2, 2004. The Wrong State, the Wrong Mountain. http://www.alternet.org/election04nv/19318/ 22.09.04 Erin Neff and Keith Rogers. No nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Aug-11 -Wed-2004/news/24509498.html 22.09.04 Benjamin Grove.

DOE may miss goal for Yucca license. Sept. 20, 2004. http://www.lasvegassun.com/dossier/nuke/ 22.09.04..

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