Not in who's back yard?

It's pretty handy around the rest of the country to think of Yucca Mountain as Nevada's problem.

After all, building a nuclear waste dump in the middle of the desert is supposed to solve a lot of problems around the country, where people understandably don't want nuclear waste stored in their back yards.

But as Nevada's senators, Richard Bryan and Harry Reid, attempt this week to block a vote on S.1287, which would designate it as the nation's waste dump, they point out some reasons that millions of Americans might want to consider Yucca Mountain their problem as well.

"The most glaring omission of the Department of Energy's entire analysis is the failure to identify national transportation routes between reactor sites and Yucca Mountain," said Bryan.

"For many years, it has been obvious that the DOE's greatest fear is that they will be forced to identify specific routes through 43 states and hundreds of different communities," he continued. "The DOE's self-interest is obvious - the day they specify the transportation routes, they fully realize that the controversy over Yucca Mountain will no longer be just a Nevada issue, but will be a source of great concern and outrage from coast to coast."

Proponents of a central nuclear waste site say that the shipping casks are safe, so there's no reason to raise an alarm in the towns through which they will pass.

If that's the case (and there are some doubters about the casks' safety), then why delay in identifying specific routes?

For a project that's supposed to be decided by science, that seems like a fairly political question.

"This bill calls for thousands of tons of the world's deadliest waste to be shipped through America's back yard," said Reid.

We already know it would be headed for Nevada's back yard. Wouldn't the rest of America like to know if it would be pass through theirs on the way?


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