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Word Count: 982
Yucca Mountain-Right or Wrong As the United States nuclear waste buildup becomes larger theneed for a permanent storage facility becomes more urgent One proposed site is in theYucca Mountains of Nevada This makes many Nevadans uneasy as visions of three-leggedbabies and phosphorescent people come to mind This is an unfounded worry as many reasonsprove In fact the Yucca Mountains provide an ideal site for a permanent undergroundnuclear waste facility in the US While the Yucca Mountains are the best site we have found as of yetthis procedure will cost a huge amount of taxpayer dollars The Department of Energy DOEestimates the total cost of its high-level waste management program at 25-35 billionCompleting the scientific investigation and licensing of the Yucca Mountain site isexpected to cost 6-7 billion alone At the end of 1993 total nuclear waste fundexpenditures through the end of the year were nearly 37 billion Very little of thismoney comes from individual investors If a retrievable facility one where the casks ofspent fuel can be retrieved later is built this will be a good deal more Other disposaltypes such assub-seabed and space disposal may prove to be cheaper at a later time This is a cause for concern but there are a greater amount of reasonsto further and eventually finish the Yucca Mountain Project One is the desert climatenaturally occurring in the western United States The weather is dry and warm and theirare very few natural disasters such as earthquakes Also this part of the nation has alower water table than the rest of the country This reduces the risk of watercontamination in case of a breach This is only one safety cushion that the proposed site provides Thereare several more All of these factors add up to a relatively stable environment But willit be stable enough If a permanent site is constructed it will have to remain stable for10000 years This is a very long time considering the United States
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