Taking Out the Trash

The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) revealed in April an alternative to the U.S. government’s radioactive waste disposal plans. IEER called for the cessation of work at Yucca Mountain in Nevada and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. The group’s president, Arjun Makhijani, considers the two sites to be “technically unsound and politically motivated.” IEER has called for increased funding for alternative disposal methods. Previously, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) agreed to take responsibility for the disposal of waste from nuclear utilities by 1998. To date, DOE has taken no action except an offer to pay for the continuing on-site storage of these wastes. Makhijani does not believe the DOE should be involved in the issue of ongoing waste disposal. “Given the mess that the DOE has made at the nuclear weapons sites and its problems with managing its own irradiated fuel, this would be a grave step backward in nuclear waste management.”

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