Feds continue to bully Nevada over Yucca
The U.S. Department of Energy is demonstrating once again that it sees Nevada as an opponent in its headlong quest to complete the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository.
And that’s just another way of saying that the feds don’t care about the concerns of state residents who would have to live next to 77,000 tons of nuclear waste.
The agency’s first step in changing that perception would be to turn over an application for the repository that was completed in 2004 by contractors seeking a license to open the dump.
But the agency has refused repeated requests from Nevada’s highest officials. Yucca critics suspect the document could show the site would be unsafe after 10,000 years. The feds say that information is protected by legal privilege.
Their argument ignores a far more important privilege, that of Nevada’s citizens to know everything about the project that they may be forced to live with, especially since it was prepared on the public’s dime.
Now Nevada is going to court again, wasting time and money to obtain something that the public needs to know.
Not that the feds will care … they’ve made a practice of wasting millions of dollars at Yucca Mountain.
The feds are also considering the state’s request that it release the results of investigations into whether scientists at the site broke laws. More than a year ago, the state learned of the allegations that scientists falsified data that may have helped persuade President Bush and Congress to approve the Yucca Mountain site in 2002.
It’s commendable that the state is taking on the U.S. Department of Energy once again. But it’s troubling that the federal government continues to snub its nose at the state.
And, unfortunately, it makes you wonder what else they may be hiding.