American Indians, Anti-Nuclear, aquifer, Arkansas, Bernie Sanders, Burial of Radioactive Waste, Bush, clay, Clinton, Connecticut, earthquakes, environment, Finland, granite, hard rock nuclear waste facility, Harry Reid, Holtec, HR 629, immigration, Jane Sanders, Limestone, low-income communities, Maine, Maine Yankee, Maryland, Massachusetts, minorities, NAACP, Native Americans, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, nuclear, nuclear energy, nuclear expansion, nuclear shut-down, nuclear utilities, nuclear waste, Pelosi, Pennsylvania, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, rainfall, Ro Khanna, shipment of nuclear waste, shipping of nuclear waste, Shoshone, Sierra Blanca, Sierra Club, Silvestre Reyes, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas-Vermont-Maine compact, underground facility, Vermont, Vermont Maine Texas waste pact, Vermont Yankee, Virginia, WCS, West Virginia, WIPP, Yucca
Please read this post carefully. If you find this behavior reprehensible, we urge Bernie supporters to find another candidate before it is too late, and for everyone to spread the word.
Bernie Sanders knows that nuclear is dangerous, yet he had no qualms about sending Vermont’s nuclear waste cross country to be buried in Texas. Rather he said: “I rise in strong support of H.R. 629. Mr. Chairman, the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act and its 1985 amendments make commercial low-level radioactive waste disposal a State and not a Federal responsibility“. Sanders then goes on to make false claims that Texas is geologically appropriate for burial, and that Vermont is not. When it helped him get shot of Vermont nuclear waste to Texas, he said it can’t be left on site: “Leaving the radioactive waste at the site where it was produced, despite the fact that that site may be extremely unsafe in terms of long-term isolation of the waste and was never intended to be a long-term depository of low-level waste, is horrendous environmental policy. What sense is it to say that you have to keep the waste where it is now, even though that might be very environmentally damaging? That does not make any sense at all.” (See entire text and link further below).
Meanwhile, Silvestre Reyes, D-TX 16th opposed it: “Mr. Chairman, I rise today to oppose H.R. 629, which will allow radioactive waste to be dumped in the far west community of Sierra Blanca. There are many reasons to vote against this bill… If H.R. 629 passes, radioactive waste from Maine and Vermont will travel through the States of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and all the way across the State of Texas until it gets dumped into the community of Sierra Blanca and far west Texas. Supporters of this bill want to dump radioactive waste on the communities that are primarily populated by low-income minorities. Do my colleagues think we would be on this floor today debating this bill if the dump site were going to be at Lake Tahoe or Monterey, CA, or Newport, RI, or Martha’s Vineyard? Of course not. The Hispanic Caucus is unanimous in its opposition to this bill. Last week, we sent a letter to the Speaker asking him to stop this bill from coming to this floor. Obviously, he chose not to do that. Do my colleagues think this bill would be on the floor if the dump were going to be in Marietta, GA? Obviously not. The Texas State Conference of the NAACP also passed a resolution in opposition to this compact.” (See more of the debate at the bottom of our blog post).
“On 11 May 1998, twelve Sierra Club activists met with Vermont Representative Bernie Sanders, but he would not denounce the bill. .” Read more here: https://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/texans-defend-sierra-blanca-community-against-nuclear-waste-disposal-1996-1998
Why not send it to be stored at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine, which has experience in nuclear materials? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portsmouth_Naval_Shipyard Bernie’s wife, Jane, actually served on the nuclear waste “pact” committee until at least 2016: https://archive.li/8OEJ9 He does not seem to have opposed sending Maine nuclear waste to South Carolina, either. Poor Americans beware! Similarly, he knows that immigration drives down American wages, but he wants more immigrants. We have held back from publishing this (now updated) post for almost four years. However, it’s important for everyone to know that if you aren’t in Vermont or Maine, if you are poor, and aren’t from Nevada (i.e. home to Las Vegas casino magnates) that Bernie might decide to dump nuclear waste upon you — with no apparent qualms. There are far more American Indians in Texas and New Mexico than Nevada. Bernie’s new (2019) campaign manager got his start under Harry Reid (Nevada) and Pelosi, so his stated 2019 position against Yucca should come as no surprise: https://archive.li/5Wqsg
Bernie Sanders co-chair, Ro Khanna, has disclosed purchases of stock in nuclear utilities (Southern, Exelon, PG&E, Duke) and other dirty energy within the last few months, all while pretending to promote the Green New Deal. These nuclear utilities are able to extort the US government for on-site storage costs, as long as it isn’t sent to Yucca. Ro Khanna’s fellow Asian-Indian (Holtec’s Kris Singh) is trying to build an interim nuclear waste storage facility in New Mexico, and will make big money off of it, if Yucca doesn’t open. Co-chairs suggest what an administration will look like: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2020/02/08/bernie-sanders-campaign-co-chair-green-new-deal-promoter-congressman-ro-khannas-dirty-energy-investments-are-the-wrong-kind-of-green Ro Khanna also owes his political career to Pelosi. At the very least Ro Khanna is indicative of Bernie Sanders’ poor judgement.
The C-Span Transcript of Bernie Sanders, followed by a Colorado Congressman and a Texas Congressman objecting to the radioactive waste compact dump is found further below, after being placed in context. If one assumes that the burial of radioactive waste is acceptable then Sanders’ statement placing all emphasis on rainfall appears correct. But, burial of radioactive waste is unacceptable and for proper storage his argument falls apart. Granite is far more resistant than the limestone (first Texas proposal) or the clay found in the final WCS Texas site, and certainly more resistant than salt (e.g. WIPP). Shutting down nuclear reactors is the first step, but it’s not enough, and Bernie’s apparently not proposing that they be shut down.
All previously operating nuclear reactors in the United States have already been relicensed or shut down. Thus saying he’s for a moratorium on relicensing is misleading. And, Bernie isn’t calling for shutting down the existing nuclear power stations, only for not building more nuclear power stations. The primary web site says “Ban Nuclear” but if you click it says “Ban Nuclear Expansion” https://archive.li/http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-energy-policy https://archive.li/5Wqsg#ban-nuclear-energy New nuclear power stations would be mostly dependent upon Congress’ “power of the purse” subsidies anyway (tax breaks, grants, etc). While Bernie Sanders has been one of the rare members of Congress, who has spoken against nuclear and fracking, he’s not calling on the operating nuclear power stations to shut down. And, being anti-nuclear doesn’t give him the right to dump on the poor in another state. Saying that burying nuclear waste is wrong was free, and yet he chose not to say it.
It was George Bush, Jr., as Texas governor, who pushed the Texas-Vermont-Maine radioactive waste compact allowing Vermont and Maine to dump radioactive waste in Texas. President Bill Clinton signed it into law.
In Sanders’ comments (ca 1998) on the Texas-Vermont-Maine radioactive waste pact he brought up the important topic of rainfall, which is too often forgotten and which needs to be considered. However, the rest he got wrong, possibly to protect his state (Vermont), which is his job as Senator. Isn’t it? Or is it to look after the interest of the entire country? Why did Sanders protect Maine to the detriment of Texas?
Many online commentators got it wrong too, as Vermont and Maine are not densely populated. Maine is large with the lowest population density east of the Mississippi with only 43 people per sq mile. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_population_density Vermont is also low density.
Both Maine and Vermont have granite which is generally considered the best choice for a proper underground nuclear waste facility. All underground facilities leak and must be monitored for perpetuity, but granite is the most stable and least likely to collapse. It could be stored and monitored at the Portsmouth Naval facility in Maine, as well, by people qualified to understand the dangers. Why doesn’t Vermont send its waste to Maine? Why is Maine part of the pact? Why are Maine and Vermont sending their radioactive waste to Texas? It’s certainly a sweet deal for them.
And, did Sanders oppose Maine sending its nuclear reactor pressure vessel to South Carolina’s Barnwell site, which is even more wet than Vermont – hot and humid and geologically unfit?
Burying of radioactive waste is good for the tombstone business, which is probably where a lot of Vermont and Maine granite goes. How about putting the radioactive waste in the granite instead of making more tombstone business?
At issue was really the burial of so-called low level radioactive waste vs. placing it in a monitored proper facility. Any really short-lived radioactive waste can be held on site until it’s no longer dangerous. To be short-lived it must have a half-life of days, because even after 16 half-lives there is still .00153% of radiation left. And, that half-life must lead to a stable radionuclide. Many short-lived radionuclides become long-lived ones. Tritium with a comparatively short half life of 12 years will still be radioactive for almost 200 years (12×16). The US simply pretends that diluted long-lived radioactive waste makes it somehow safer. It does not.
It is unacceptable, unconscionable, unethical, immoral, indefensible, wrong to bury radioactive waste. This is even more true because all of America is a stolen land and colonial settler state. There are multiple nuclear power stations and waste on Native American sacred sites, as well as communities.
Sweden and Finland set up more proper facilities. Maybe it’s because they love their homeland?
Germany and Switzerland have actively exported and dumped their waste abroad.
It seems that only the United States, like the Italian mafia, has-have actively dumped foreign nuclear waste onto themselves. And, Russia. Russia’s import of foreign waste can arguably be called internal colonialism.
The arid nature of west Texas in combination with the clay means that the concrete liner will crack sooner or later and the radioactive material start migrating out, if the waste doesn’t blow up first as happened at the Beatty radioactive waste site. It is important to have the radioactive waste accessible so that any corrosion can be noted and the waste re-packaged before it leaks or explodes.
Even a proper facility must NOT be closed. Yucca mountain is hard rock and located in an arid environment. And, yet, when the rock is closed the rooms go up to 100% humidity, apparently because the rock is somewhat porous. A proper facility will have to be pumped in more wet climates and vented-fans put on it in arid climates. There can be no sealing off of waste. There is no ideal geology, only better or worse geology.
All of this raises many questions.
Can Sanders or any US presidential candidate be counted on to look beyond their own narrow interests?
Is the USA one country or many small ones?
Do Senators of states with low populations, big or small, have the right to block better nuclear waste options or help impose worse ones?
Will rural communities and the environment be sacrificed to protect dense urban and suburban areas?
Will already contaminated low population areas be used for waste or will contamination be spread around more equitably making everywhere contaminated and potentially uninhabitable?
Will rainy agricultural and forestry areas be contaminated because it’s supposedly unfair to place waste in the arid west, even when some of these agricultural areas have more poor minorities than the arid west?
Why are states or regions benefitting from jobs in nuclear labs-nuclear industry allowed to keep these jobs and yet sue the government to dump their radioactive wastes upon regions that did not benefit from the jobs? (E.g. Idaho and its National Lab).
How many anti-nuclear activists will go AWOL when the nuclear reactor near them is closed? When the radioactive waste from decommissioning is sent to another state? Vermont’s nuclear power station is closed, now.
It is also important to note that California appears to have been the only state which had a popular referendum to decide if they wanted nuclear power, and they decided yes. Most states don’t even have the option for such a referendum.
Don’t people realize that atomic weapons testing and Chernobyl proved that places far, far away can be impacted when there are nuclear accidents and radioactive waste accidents? Here is one map of weather patterns that will surprise many but which also changes and must be watched over time: http://earth.nullschool.net
As for Jane O’Meara Sanders (Bernie’s wife) previous position on the Low Level Rad Waste Compact Commission, she was an alternate board member and was paid just under $5,000, according to disclosure forms. She could have been on there for good (or not) since one of their jobs is “to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens and the environment of the party states; to limit the number of facilities needed to effectively, efficiently, and economically manage low-level radioactive waste and to encourage the reduction of the generation thereof; and to distribute the costs, benefits, and obligations” https://archive.li/8OEJ9 http://governor.vermont.gov/boards_and_commissions/texas_low-level_radioactive_waste_disposal_compact
A history of the bill:
“On 16 September 1997, the U.S. House of Representatives stopped the Texas-Vermont-Maine compact in a vote of 243 to 176. This marked the first time nuclear disposal had even been debated as a possibly negative solution. Governor Bush wanted the compact reintroduced; his forces combined with that of the nuclear lobby made sure it was passed when next voted on in 1997.
When President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law, Addington and allies went directly to the media…
On 11 May 1998, twelve Sierra Club activists met with Vermont Representative Bernie Sanders, but he would not denounce the bill.
In response, the campaigners marched on Governor George W. Bush’s home in protest of the upcoming bill. There was no response from the governor.” Read the entire case here: https://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/texans-defend-sierra-blanca-community-against-nuclear-waste-disposal-1996-1998
Maine and Vermont Nuclear Reactors
“Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant was a nuclear power plant built on Bailey Peninsula of Wiscasset, Maine, in the United States. It ran from 1972 until 1996, when safety and other problems at the plant became too expensive to fix. It was finally decommissioned and dismantled between 1997 and 2005, though some of the plant’s nuclear waste is still stored on site, pending final disposal… In 2003, the reactor pressure vessel was shipped to Barnwell, South Carolina via barge.“. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maine_Yankee_Nuclear_Power_Plant
“Vermont Yankee was an electricity generating nuclear power plant, located in the town of Vernon, Vermont, in the northeastern United States. It generated 620 megawatts (MWe) of electricity at full power. The plant was a boiling water reactor (BWR), designed by General Electric. On December 29, 2014, its owner Entergy ceased the plant’s operations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_Yankee_Nuclear_Power_Plant
Finland Places their Radioactive Waste in Granite
“After the Finnish Nuclear Energy Act was amended in 1994 to specify that all nuclear waste produced in Finland must be disposed of in Finland, Olkiluoto was selected in 2000 as the site for a (very) long-term underground storage facility for Finland’s spent nuclear fuel. The facility, named “Onkalo” (meaning “cave” or “cavity”) is being built in the granite bedrock at the Olkiluoto site, about five km from the power plants. The municipality of Eurajoki issued a building permit for the facility in August 2003 and excavation began in 2004. A construction license was issued 12 November 2015. According to Posiva construction will begin in 2016 and operations in 2023..” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkalo_spent_nuclear_fuel_repository (Sweden has a low level waste facility in rock, but whether or not it is granite is not clear. The problem with their model is that they apparently intend to eventually seal the facility and let it flood which may poison the ocean).
While Vermont and Maine have granite and granite has largely been considered the best choice, Sanders (falsely) claimed:
“No reputable scientist or environmentalist believes that the geology of Vermont or Maine would be a good place for this waste. In the humid climate of Vermont and Maine, it is more likely that groundwater will come in contact with that waste and carry off radioactive elements to the accessible environment.
There is widespread scientific evidence to suggest, on the other hand, that locations in Texas, some of which receive less than 12 inches of rainfall a year, a region where the groundwater table is more than 700 feet below the surface, is a far better location for this waste. This is not a political assertion, it is a geological and environmental reality.“. http://www.c-span.org/congress/bills/billAction/?print/1410681. As we have seen, his statement is geologically false. Furthermore, the original Texas dump proposal seems to have been limestone which erodes over time (karst) and is an even more unstable formation. We only glanced through quickly. See for details: http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0479/report.pdf )
The C-Span Transcript of Bernie, followed by a Colorado Congressman and a Texas Congressman objecting to the radioactive waste compact dump. If one assumes that the burial of radioactive waste is acceptable then Sanders’ statement placing all emphasis on rainfall appears correct. But, burial of radioactive waste is unacceptable and for proper storage his argument falls apart. Granite is more resistant than limestone or clay. Shutting down nuclear reactors is the first step, but it’s not enough, and Sanders isn’t even proposing that anymore.
“321 pm Bernie Sanders, I-VT 1st
Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the time.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 629. Mr. Chairman, the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act and its 1985 amendments make commercial low-level radioactive waste disposal a State and not a Federal responsibility.
As we have heard, all that Texas and Maine and Vermont are asking for today is to be treated as 9 other compacts were treated affecting 41 States. This is not new business. We have done it 9 times, 41 States, and Texas, Maine, and Vermont ask us to do it today.
Mr. Chairman, let me touch for a moment upon the environmental aspects of this issue. Let me address it from the perspective of someone who is an opponent of nuclear power, who opposes the construction of power plants and, if he had his way, would shut down the existing nuclear power plants as quickly and as safely as we could.
One of the reasons that many of us oppose nuclear power plants is that when this technology was developed, there was not a lot of thought given as to how we dispose of the nuclear waste. Neither the industry nor the Government, in my view, did the right thing by allowing the construction of the plants and not figuring out how we get rid of the waste.
But the issue we are debating here today is not that issue. The reality, as others have already pointed out, is that the waste is here. We cannot wish it away. It exists in power plants in Maine and Vermont, it exists in hospitals, it is here.
The gentleman from Texas [Mr. Reyes] a few moments ago said, `Who wants radioactive waste in their district?’ I guess he is right. But do Members know what, by going forward with the nuclear power industry, that is what we have. So the real environmental issue here is not to wish it away, but to make the judgment, the important environmental judgment, as to what is the safest way of disposing of the nuclear waste that has been created. That is the environmental challenge that we face.
The strong environmental position should not be and cannot be to do nothing, and to put our heads in the sand and pretend that the problem does not exist. It would be nice if Texas had no low-level radioactive waste, or Vermont or Maine or any other State. That would be great. That is not the reality. The environmental challenge now is, given the reality that low-level radioactive waste exists, what is the safest way of disposing of that waste.
Leaving the radioactive waste at the site where it was produced, despite the fact that that site may be extremely unsafe in terms of long-term isolation of the waste and was never intended to be a long-term depository of low-level waste, is horrendous environmental policy. What sense is it to say that you have to keep the waste where it is now, even though that might be very environmentally damaging? That does not make any sense at all.
No reputable scientist or environmentalist believes that the geology of Vermont or Maine would be a good place for this waste. In the humid climate of Vermont and Maine, it is more likely that groundwater will come in contact with that waste and carry off radioactive elements to the accessible environment.
There is widespread scientific evidence to suggest, on the other hand, that locations in Texas, some of which receive less than 12 inches of rainfall a year, a region where the groundwater table is more than 700 feet below the surface, is a far better location for this waste.
This is not a political assertion, it is a geological and environmental reality. Furthermore, even if this compact is not approved, it is likely that Texas, which has a great deal of low-level radioactive waste, and we should make the point that 80 percent of the waste is coming from Texas, 10 percent from Vermont, 10 percent from Maine, the reality is that Texas will go forward with or without this compact in building a facility to dispose of their low-level radioactive waste.
If they do not have the compact, which gives them the legal right to deny low-level radioactive waste from coming from anyplace else in the country, it seems to me they will be in worse environmental shape than they are right now. Right now, with the compact, they can deal with the constitutional issue of limiting the kinds of waste they get.
From an environmental point of view, I urge strong support for this legislation.
“2:48 PM EDT Daniel “Dan” Schaefer, R-CO 6th
When Congress passed the Low-level Radioactive Waste Policy Act in 1980, it was a part of a broader agreement whereby the States are responsible for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste while the Federal Government is responsible for high-level waste disposal.” He goes on to falsely claim: “The vast majority of these wastes do not even require the use of special containers to protect against threats to human health. In most cases, the radioactivity in these materials will decay to the point where there is no significant risk to human health after about 100 years.” The key words here seem to be “vast majority”, and “significant risk” as the nuclear lobby always wants to minimize the unique risks posed by radioactive wastes.
“2:51 PM EDT
Silvestre Reyes, D-TX 16th
Mr. Chairman, I rise today to oppose H.R. 629, which will allow radioactive waste to be dumped in the far west community of Sierra Blanca.
There are many reasons to vote against this bill… If H.R. 629 passes, radioactive waste from Maine and Vermont will travel through the States of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and all the way across the State of Texas until it gets dumped into the community of Sierra Blanca and far west Texas.
Who would want radioactive waste shipped through their district? I do not, and neither should my colleagues. If my colleagues are still not convinced, there is more. How about the fact that this site is earthquake prone? Supporters of H.R. 629 are so concerned about that that they felt it necessary to send out a `Dear Colleague’ trying to explain why we should put radioactive waste there anyway.
Or how about the fact that this waste remains active for literally thousands of years, low level? You decide. How will that affect the water table in west Texas? I do not think we need to draw a picture up to that one.
If my colleagues need another reason to vote against this bill, last week the public affairs director of the Maine Yankee nuclear power reactor said, and I quote this, `The Texas compact no longer makes economic sense for Maine Yankee ratepayers.’
If the company that wants to dump its radioactive waste on the constituents of the district of the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Bonilla] does not support the compact, why should we?
Supporters of H.R. 629 will tell us that this bill does not endorse a specific site in Texas. The fact is that the Texas Legislature has already identified Sierra Blanca as a site for this dump, and a vote for H.R. 629 is a vote to support this site. This is the same legislation that was overwhelmingly defeated in the 104th Congress. But here we are again, fighting again to keep this Congress from dumping on the people of west Texas.
There have been reports to my office that supporters of this bill have said that no one lives where they want to put this dump. Representatives from the nuclear power districts of east Texas, 800 miles and 14 hours from Sierra Blanca, and from the States of Vermont and Maine, over 2,000 miles away, are the major proponents of the dump, and they have erroneously claimed that citizens of Sierra Blanca support this compact. They do not, and neither should my colleagues.
Supporters of this bill want to dump radioactive waste on the communities that are primarily populated by low-income minorities. Do my colleagues think we would be on this floor today debating this bill if the dump site were going to be at Lake Tahoe or Monterey, CA, or Newport, RI, or Martha’s Vineyard? Of course not.
The Hispanic Caucus is unanimous in its opposition to this bill. Last week, we sent a letter to the Speaker asking him to stop this bill from coming to this floor. Obviously, he chose not to do that. Do my colleagues think this bill would be on the floor if the dump were going to be in Marietta, GA? Obviously not.
The Texas State Conference of the NAACP also passed a resolution in opposition to this compact.
I have only been a Member of this Congress for 9 months, Mr. Chairman, but I know a bad bill when I see one. If my colleagues think it is OK to dump radioactive waste in communities where 75 percent of the people are Hispanic, then they should risk on voting for this bill. But if they agree with me that my constituents and the constituents of the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Bonilla] are as important as theirs and a life on the border is worth as much as a life away from the border, then they should vote on this bill. Send a message to the corporate CEO’s who think they can dump their waste on my constituents and on the constituents of the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Bonilla] halfway across the country. And that is not OK to do that.
I urge all my colleagues to consider those facts and vote `no’ on H.R. 629.”
http://www.c-span.org/congress/bills/billAction/?print/1410681 The c-span document was found by this blogger: http://realhistoryarchives.blogspot.com/2016/02/about-bernie-sanders-support-for-sierra.html
This abstract below explains that the location of the final choice for the west Texas dump has swelling clays. They pretend that this is ok. However, shrinking and swelling of clays will lead to cracking of the concrete liner: “Characterization of Hydraulically Significant Discontinuities in Mudrocks at the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) Site, West Texas” Kuszmaul, J. S.; Holt, R. M.; Powers, D. W.; Beauheim, R.; Pickens, J. F.; grisak, G. E.; Hughes, E.; Cook, S.
American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2011, abstract #H53I-1530
Triassic mudrocks of the Dockum Group (Cooper Canyon Formation) host four, below-grade landfills at the Waste Control Specialists (WSC) site in Andrews County, Texas, including: a hazardous waste landfill and three radioactive waste landfills. At many radioactive waste disposal facilities, the long-term performance of the facility may be influenced by the transport of radionuclides through interconnected fracture networks. WCS developed an integrated geologic mapping and hydraulic testing program to evaluate the hydraulic significance of discontinuities within Dockum rocks. At the WCS site, the Dockum consists of mudrocks with sparse siltstone/sandstone interbeds that developed in a semi-arid environment from an ephemeral meandering fluvial system. Sedimentary studies reveal that the mudrocks are ancient floodplain vertisols (soils with swelling clays) and siltstone/sandstone interbeds are fluvial channel deposits that were frequently subaerially exposed. Rock discontinuities, including fractures, were mapped during the excavation of the WCS radioactive waste landfills along vertical faces prepared by the construction contractor… In the three radioactive waste disposal landfills, over 1750 discontinuities across 35 excavated faces were mapped and described, where each face was nominally 8 to 10 ft tall and 50 to 100 ft long. On average, the orientation of the discontinuities was horizontal, and no other significant trends were observed. Mapping within the landfill excavations shows that most discontinuities within Dockum rocks are horizontal, concave upward, slickensided surfaces that developed in the depositional environment, as repeated wetting and drying cycles led to shrinking and swelling of floodplain vertisols. These tests confirm the absence of hydrologically significant fracture networks in the subsurface at the WCS site… ” http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011AGUFM.H53I1530K
More questions that no one wants to ask or answer:
Did Sanders have a moral obligation to help protect Texas from Governor Bush, even when not helping them benefitted the State which he represents? Should non-American Indian casino interests have the right to use American Indian interests as an excuse? Should western American Indians or their sacred sites have more right to environmental protection than eastern ones because they lost them slightly more recently? Where is the outcry about Grand Gulf or River Bend reactors and radioactive waste being sited on an American Indian sacred site? There are also historic American Indian sites near Savannah River nuclear site. And, what of the Prairie Island [ Native American] Indian reservation sitting on a small island at the confluence of the Mississippi and Vermillion Rivers, subject to flooding, which it shares with Prairie Island Nuclear Power Station and its waste?
There are far more American Indians in Texas and New Mexico than Nevada, and there appears no movement to give Nevada back to the American Indians: https://www.census.gov/history/pdf/c2010br-10-112019.pdf Leaving the waste in place endangers American Indians and American Indian sites, as well.
The biggest problem with Yucca is that the waste must be repackaged before transport. As well, Yucca would need to remain open to keep it dry and constantly monitored. Small earthquakes are not necessarily felt in tunnels, or not in the same way. What could be a large jolt in a high-rise can pass unfelt in a subway.
Sanders 2020 campaign manager is a Pakistani American and former aid to Harry Reid of Nevada and Nancy Pelosi.
This means that waste will either stay where it is or be shipped cross-country for interim storage – likely in New Mexico and/or West Texas:
“Sanders: Trump’s Nuclear Waste Storage Proposal for Nevada’s Yucca Mountain a Disaster
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
WASHINGTON, May 1 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders issued the following statement on President Trump’s Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage proposal:
“The proposal by President Trump and Republicans in Congress to send our nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain would be a geological, environmental, and social disaster. The site is located less than 100 miles from Las Vegas and sits atop an aquifer in a seismically active area. Nevada’s entire congressional delegation, governor, the Western Shoshone Native American tribes and two-thirds of Nevadans oppose a Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. It is completely unacceptable to violate tribal treaty rights and the will of ordinary Nevadans by constructing a permanent spent-fuel repository at Yucca Mountain. We must abandon the idea that Yucca Mountain can solve our nuclear waste problems, stop building new nuclear power plants, and find a real solution to our existing nuclear waste problem.”