The Science IS Settled…On Yucca Mountain

Nicolas Loris /

Lost in President Obama’s rhetoric that the science is settled on climate change, the president is willing to shut down Yucca Mountain without scientific justification. Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) filed to withdraw the application for the geologic repository Yucca Mountain that was supposed to begin collecting used fuel in 1998. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 set January 31, 1998, as the deadline for the federal government to begin disposing of used fuel. More than a decade after the deadline, the government has still not settled on a policy for how to do it. The DOE established a blue ribbon commission to explore alternatives to long-term waste storage. The government’s ineptitude to begin proper nuclear waste management should be a reason to remove government responsibilities, not remove Yucca from consideration.

On numerous occasions (not Yucca specific) President Obama emphasized the importance of objective, transparent science, stressing that politics should not trump sound science.