Why is Yucca Mountain still being debated?

I was really surprised the Temple Daily Telegram reprinted an excellent article by Gary Martin, Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday, Jan. 2. Most people have no idea what Yucca Mountain is. Yet, it should be one of the most important considerations for the future energy of the United States. Yucca Mountain is synonymous for nuclear fuel storage and management. The article detailed the data accurately but failed to explain “why” it is so important for our future.

This spent (radioactive) uranium (86,000 tons from reactors) and the depleted uranium (800,000 tons not used in reactors) can provide enough nuclear fuel for advanced reactor designs for centuries. Yes, I said hundreds of years without ever having to extract another gram of uranium from the ground. Each advanced reactor is designed to be in service for 100-plus years with proper maintenance.

Every dollar invested in renewable wind/solar will only last for about 20 years of energy and becomes waste after that. Every dollar invested in fossil energy generation will last only some 50-plus years and continue to pollute the air and water forever. Every dollar invested in nuclear energy will last for 100-plus years with very little negative side effects.

What is there to debate?

Martin Kral

Temple