Aervoe process could solidfy nuclear waste

GARDNERVILLE - Dave Williams, owner of Aervoe Pacific in Gardnerville, dropped a bomb while speaking to more than 130 people at a building industry Forecast 2000 meeting.

He said that sooner or later, nuclear waste from Washington state and other locales could be coming through the Carson Valley. Williams further suggested that businesses could look at Nevada's relationship with the nuclear industry as an opportunity.

It's not that Williams is hoping the Carson Valley will become Glow Valley - he's just seeing the writing on the wall.

"Yucca Mountain is 100 percent signed, sealed and delivered, but no politician will admit it," he said to a quiet room. "New technology will be changing the way (nuclear) waste is disposed of. It's called 'super rapid solidification,' and Aervoe Pacific will be a part of the process."

Aervoe Pacific manufactures industrial coatings and lubricants and has been in the Carson Valley 10 years. Nearly two years ago, Williams brought a special projects manager on board - a chemist with nuclear industry experience named Larry Rogers - to head up Aervoe Pacific's foray into the world of anti-nuclear chemicals.

Rogers, 52, has a doctorate in nanostructured particles from MIT, and a vast experience in that field of chemistry.

If Yucca Mountain, 115 miles northwest of Las Vegas, does become the official national high level nuclear waste repository - an action that has been consistently fought in the nation's capital by all four Nevada delegates - the transporting of waste will logically come via Highway 395, both Rogers and Williams speculate.

"It's the most direct route between Hanford (Ore.) and Yucca Mountain," Williams said. "Kind of adds new meaning to the word 'bypass.'"

Claude Oliver, a Benton County, Wash., commissioner, who has been involved with Hanford's saga since the 1980s, said he, too, thinks Yucca Mountain will be selected as the official national repository.

"It's all politics," he said. "Is Yucca Mountain the best site? Not necessarily, but it is politically. I don't like a lot of high level waste condensed in any one area."

Oliver said there are many techniques of dealing with both low and high level nuclear waste that are currently being studied and used worldwide.

"There are some good techniques to be used, from recycling to reducing," he said. "Is everyone sticking their head in the sand? Yes."


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