It looks like the US Department of Energy has dropped a rollick to the tune of possibly $58 billion.

When George W Bush approved proposals for a new nuclear waste dumping site back in 2002, it seems the DoE hadn’t bothered to rush out and check the seismology of the terrain in Nevada where the site was to be built.

In fact, they never rushed at all to do anything, until just recently.

Now it seems, the biggest and most expensive public works project in American history has been thrown into turmoil by the discovery that a faultline thought to have been hundreds of meters west of the site, actually passes directly under it. Or, to be exact, as a report in the British newspaper, the Guardian states:

“The fault is now thought to run beneath a storage pad where spent radioactive fuel canisters would be cooled before being sealed in a maze of tunnels inside the mountain.

Bob Loux, the executive director of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, expressed amazement that the US Department of Energy had only just carried out the “11th hour” drilling tests.

“It certainly looks like DoE has encountered a surprise out there, and it certainly speaks to the fact they haven’t done the technical work they should have done years ago,” he told the [Las Vegas Review-Journal].

“It’s going to have to cause some change of the design in the final analysis. It’s going to impact the safety case.”

The site is at Yucca Mountain, an area well known for seismic activity:

“Since 1976, there have been 621 seismic events of magnitude greater than 2.5 on the Richter scale within a 50-mile radius of Yucca Mountain.”

Apparently undeterred, the DoE is continuing “… develop repository design, construction and operating plans…..” for the site.

Well, what the hell? They won’t be the ones who have to live next to it, will they?

Full Guardian article available HERE.

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2 Replies to “Oooops!”

  1. Yup, I’m about a 1/2 hour from the site, we’re even host to the “Yucca Mountain Information Center” which is essentially nothing but a propaganda site where you can get all the pro-Yucca Mountain pamphlets you never wanted.

    Much as everyone is hating on Harry Reid at the moment (and believe me he drives me bonkers quite often too) he’s been the biggest obstacle this administration has faced to Yucca Mountain. Minus him the project would have opened already. This is also another reason I have no use for Edwards, he caved to the Bushies on this issue and voted with them when they threatened to consider a similar project in his own state. Richardson is the only candidate who is on NV’s side on this issue and the rest either know little or nothing about it or could care less. A fair number of westerners are tired of eastern politicians who see the western states as places to rob resources from or to store their garbage.

    Hope to be out of here before opening day if it does come to pass.

  2. NYM – sorry, thought I’d responded to your comment. I hadn’t! Must be old age. I expected a few thoughts from you on this one, given your proximity – though I had no idea you were only 1/2 an hour away. I didn’t know about Edward’s involvement, that’s interesting. Let’s hope a localized earthquake caves the place in before its finished – preferably while Bush and a few others are paying a visit.

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