Nuke projects office holds Carson hearing

Both the federal government and the state's Nuclear Waste Project Office have scheduled hearings in Carson City on the Yucca Mountain Project.

The state hearing is set for Wednesday for the Brewery Arts Center, located at King and Division streets. It will begin at 7 p.m.

The emphasis will be how Nevadans can get their message to the Department of Energy, which will hold its Carson City hearing Dec. 2.

The Nevada hearing will include a briefing on the potential impacts of the site on Nevada including the state concerns about transportation hazards in moving the waste across the country and through Nevada to get to Yucca Mountain.

The official hearing hosted Dec. 2 by DOE will be held noon to 3 p.m. and 6-9:30 p.m. in Room 4100 of the State Legislature. It is one of 17 hearings scheduled to gather public comment during the 180-day comment period on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Yucca Mountain Project.

That draft says, in essence, that there is no factor that would prevent construction of the nuclear waste dump beneath Yucca Mountain 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Federal officials say those wishing to provide comments can do so both in written form and orally during the hearing.

Carson City was not originally on the list of hearing sites but was added this past week. Of the 17 hearings, 10 are in Nevada and the 11th in Lone Pine, California just across the border from the proposed dump site.

The federal government wants to bury thousands of tons of high level nuclear waste, primarily from nuclear power plants, at the site. Those wastes in many cases will be dangerously radioactive for thousands of years.

The state has raised questions not only about the dangers of transporting the wastes thousands of miles across country to the Yucca Mountain as well as earthquake dangers. And state officials say there is a danger of groundwater welling up into the storage zone in the future as well as seepage from above causing contamination of the water table.

Federal supporters of the repository argue those dangers are grossly over-estimated by state officials and that the site is among the world's safest places to put that waste material.


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