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State of Nevada
Legislative Committee on High-Level Radioactive Waste
April 29, 2009 1:00 PM
Attorney General Office Building 2nd Floor Room 201
100 N. Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada
Public Comments

Ladies & and Gentlemen, distinguished participants:

My name is Gary Duarte, Director of US Nuclear Energy; a non-profit 501 (c)(3) foundation. Our mission is to advocate the proven science and engineering of nuclear technology and separate it from politics and misrepresentation by the media.

 

A friend, colleague and retired UNR professor suggested I offer that you change the name of this committee to the “Anti Yucca Mountain Project Agency”. "By opposing the Yucca Mountain Project in general, Nevada is throwing away a source of high- tech high-paying jobs that would come here permanently; jobs that can never be outsourced to India or China and an industry that would induce other technology commerce to Nevada".

 

Earlier in this meeting you approved the minutes of your December 15th 2008 meeting. I reviewed the legislative video record for that meeting. I was amazed at the testimony, as former director Bob Loux stated that “the majority of Nevada’s legal and scientific research opposition to the DOE’s studies of the Yucca Mountain Project are being secured out of state and out of the country”.

 

I can’t help to inject here, is this commission aware that the nuclear energy industry was FOUNDED in the United States of America, including reprocessing research which is still being conducted at the Idaho National Laboratory Hot Fuels facility? And, other countries participate in this research for their programs worldwide? Has this commission considered that if anti Yucca Mountain Science is not readily available in the U. S. then maybe it isn’t credible? You have a responsibility to communicate the TRUTH to Nevada’s citizens.

 

For some 20+ years Nevada politics has opposed Yucca Mountain. It has been passed into law by congress, given approval “position statements” by the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, The Nuclear Energy Institute, American Nuclear Society, the IBEW 35th International Convention in support of nuclear energy and of legislation to ensure a national nuclear waste disposal facility, and over half of the U.S. Governors support the Yucca Mountain facility. Can you list industry related international organizations who have published “position statements” opposing the Yucca Mountain Project, what are they?

 

Politicians without scientific qualification have called Yucca Mountain “junk science” this seems a rather knee jerk emotional statement designed to evoke fear. Based on recent national events one could easily state that America is more inclined to be experiencing “junk politics” rather than junk science.

 

My research having attended several American Nuclear Society conventions over the past few years, I have some interesting and thought provoking observations. 1) We have lost our U. S. manufacturing industries mostly to labor and energy costs on a worldwide playing field. Nuclear power is the primary answer to clean low cost “industrial and public electricity”. 2) EDUCATION, this country needs 120,000 new scientists and engineers in America. Industry, DRIVEN higher education will spawn the new education system change towards science and engineering providing research dollars as well as increased student enrollment. 3) Our governmental management is in dire need of restructuring, it needs a 40% infusion of engineers and scientists as opposed to political scientists, lobbyists, lawyers, etc. In order to develop and pass effective legislation we need people who can process deductive reasoning in their decision making process. 4) Any future political “visionary” will have to openly advocate and promote nuclear energy expansion as a “position statement” and as a major “campaign statement”. If they are going to champion a “major carbon free energy source” they must understand that nuclear is the most cost efficient dominant carbon free energy source to meet our growing energy demands. Today, energy is as much a part of our national security as our nuclear navy is and its “placeholder” of critical importance towards America’s energy independence will not be trumped by any other energy source. Science and engineering MUST get this message to the public in spite of politics and misrepresentation about solar and wind.

 

I urge this commission to reassess The Yucca Mountain Project based on science, current and FUTURE technology, logic and deductive reasoning vs NIMBY politics. In recent polls Nevada citizens are in favor of reassessment and as their representatives you owe it to them.

Thank you for the opportunity for public comments.
Gary J. Duarte
 

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