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Abigail Curtis’ recent article in the BDN on the development of “temporary” storage capacity for high level nuclear waste accepts the Department of Energy (DOE) whitewashing of the actual history and ignores the complex problems of transportation of spent nuclear fuel from all corners of the nation to a supposedly safe parking lot.
If we really believed such a facility would be temporary, then there will be a future time when those “100,000 tons” of waste would have to be shipped again to somewhere else. Referring to it as “temporary” lifts the burden of having well-thought-out standards and facilities in place.
The DOE’s claim that it and the Biden administration want “consent-based” siting simply means they are willing to pay something to get the local populace to go along or to get a state like Texas or New Mexico to force the local populace to go along. One of the lessons of this year is that it will again be the poor folks, including likely Native Americans, who “volunteer” or more-likely, are volunteered. The idea that, “Oh, no, the Texas Legislature wouldn’t do that,” is laughable.
Putting a kinder face on efforts to force open a repository may help real estate developers on the Maine coast, but it shifts the burden onto all the neighbors of the rail and interstate lines between Wiscasset and the southwest, as well as on the local folks near the “temporary” parking lot.