Bush Administration is “confident” Yucca Mountain will open for high-level nuclear waste, according to the Associated Press.
Hold on for a big “but.”
But a key document is missing.
The application prepared for the NRC still lacks a final public radiation exposure standard that establishes how protective the facility must be from radiation leakage. The EPA had issued a standard designed to be protective for 10,000 years.
But a federal court said it was inadequate and that agency must establish a standard shown to be protective for up to 1 million years _ the time some of the isotopes in the waste will remain dangerous. The EPA has yet to produce that document
Aside from the magma plumes and earthquake potential, there is simply water at the heart here.
Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division found in 1999
that water percolates through the rock at Yucca Mountain, proposed site of a permanent nuclear waste repository, much faster than existing models predict.
We found it took water 30 years to percolate through 300 meters of soil rather than the 100,000 to one million years predicted by some numerical models,” says DePaolo. “This changes the nature of the debate among hydrologists as to which model is best.”
Meanwhile, complaints about tained water from Uranium Enrichment Energy Corp’s exploration of uranium zones in a confined, drinking-water aquifer in Goliad County have gone nowhere. It hasn’t stopped the company from receiving the first of a needed covy of licenses to mine uranium there.
Draft Mine Permit Issued for Goliad ISR Uranium Project in South Texas
First Draft Permit to be Issued in over Ten Years to a Publicly Listed Company in the U.S.
AUSTIN, TEXAS–(Marketwire – June 5, 2008) – Uranium Energy Corp (AMEX:UEC)(FRANKFURT:U6Z), a U.S.-based resource company with the objective of near-term uranium production, is pleased to report that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has issued a Draft Mine Permit for the Company’s Goliad ISR Uranium Project in South Texas. The issuance of the draft mine permit follows an intensive nine-month technical review of the mine permit application by the TCEQ.
The permitting of uranium mining in Texas is administrated at the state level. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has delegated its authority to the state regulatory agencies, and companies deal directly with the state agencies in Texas rather than the NRC. Texas is known as an “Agreement State”. In 2007, Texas further streamlined the permitting process by putting the TCEQ in control of the entire permitting process. Uranium producers and near-term producers deal with one agency, the TCEQ, for all required and related permits and licenses. As it has done for decades with oil and gas production, Texas is the state that is giving priority to uranium permitting and production directly.
This is the first draft permit to be issued in over 10 years to a publicly listed company in the United States. A private company, Mestena Uranium LLC, also based in south Texas, was issued such a draft permit eight years ago and is producing approximately one million pounds of U3O8 annually using in-situ recovery.
Commenting on this milestone, Harry Anthony, Chief Operations Officer, stated, “We are very pleased with the rapid progress we are making with the Goliad project. Receiving the Draft Mine Permit for Goliad after a nine-month period of review validates the detailed technical understanding that company staff are developing about the project area.”
Notice of the draft permit will be published in project-area newspapers for public comment for thirty days. TCEQ will prepare a response to comments, and the draft permit will be placed on the Commissioners’ agenda for completion. Uranium Energy Corp is on schedule to file the remaining applications this summer for starting ISR production at the Goliad Project, which include applications for a Production Area Authorization, a Disposal Well Permit and a Radioactive Material License.
Last week, Rocky Flats contractors were ordered to pay millions for putting public health at risk via rollicking radionuclides from the plutonium pit facility.
Now that the candidates are known beyond doubt (if not derision), it seems a good time to ask where McCain and Obama are on this issue of industry, pollution, and the public health.
From the New York Observer blog:
For a Republican, Senator John McCain has shown some signs that he understands the issues of sustainability. He and Senator Joseph Lieberman have sponsored climate change bills that have almost been enacted. He is making noises like he might select the environment as the issue to show people that he is not George W. Bush. However, the League of Conservation Voters, a group that monitors Congress’ environmental records gave him a score of 0 percent in 2007 and 24 percent life time. In contrast, Senator Barak Obama Sen. Obama scored 67% in 2007 and 86% lifetime. Most of Obama’s decline last year was due to missed votes related to his campaign schedule. The average score for Members of Congress in 2007 was 53%.
Anyone miss that? The candidate that has put nukes first in his climate campaign efforts scored ZERO, nil, nada, zilch in last year’s votes on important conservation and public health issues. Those other decades in the Senate? He’s been tirelessly scrubbing the bottom tier.
Desperately angry HIllary contingent? Come back to sanity, please.