All information and research on this website is gathered and used with written permission from the participating authors, contributors & advisors concerning nuclear science, energy and waste repository data! US Nuclear Energy Foundation is an independent foundation and not supported exclusively by any industry or nuclear association but by individual and/or business support in order to retain our independence of educational materials.
Our mission is to influence change in public opinion towards knowledgeable citizens about nuclear energy and waste repository issues.
“Our freedoms can only be maintained by the advancement of technologies that serve mankind— not advancing technology puts Freedom at Risk and our freedom is threatened because we don't take the time to participate in it” GJD
Advisory Board Gary J Duarte Director
Dr. Bruce P. Johnson (Ret)University of Nevada, Reno Electrical Engineering Advisor
Dr. Bernard L. Cohen (Ret)University of Pittsburgh Health Effects of Radiation Author, “The Nuclear Energy Option”--Contributor
Peter G. Shaw Idaho National Laboratory Environmental Waste MGMT Contributor
Dr. Barlane (Ike) Eichbaum Materials Processing Engineer/ Environmental Scientist Advisor
US Nuclear Energy 501 (c)(3) Foundation PO Box 2867 * Sparks, NV 89432 775 224-2089
For Immediate Release Contact: Gary J. Duarte, Director
December 21, 2008
A nuclear future for Nevada Think About It!
US Nuclear Energy has released a 12-page document that reviews national discussions on energy, Yucca Mountain and permanent geologic storage, an overview of the GE-Hitachi Advanced Recycling Center, current nuclear plant construction timelines and What If challenges for nuclear development in Nevada. The report is available at: www.usnuclearenergy.org. This report discusses Nevada’s land mass, strategic location and need for industry diversification.
The economic climate in Nevada is such that we need to expand our industry base considering that the nuclear industry worldwide is on a major growth path. There are over 17 new plant application submissions in the United States now and plans for many more. Nevada should be a major leader on this effort.
Obama calls on Nobel Prize winnerDr. Steven Chu: Dr.Chu, the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, has been appointed by the Obama administration to replace Sam Bodman as Secretary of the Department of Energy. This appears to be a scientific choice rather than a political choice as Dr. Chu is a supporter of nuclear energy as part of our overall energy strategy. March 7, 2008Nobel winner Dr. Chu: Nuke power must be part of the equation. Add Dr. Steven Chu's name to the ranks of scientists who advocate turning to nuclear power as an alternative energy source. “Nuclear has to be a necessary part of the portfolio,” Dr. Chu, said during the annual economic summit organized by Stanford University.
We believe that Obama has made an excellent choice in Dr. Chu, who will put science one notch ahead of politics with this appointed work. It appears that Obama is at least willing to “talk” about nuclear energy. “If” Obama realizes from his advisors the importance and need for nuclear in our national energy “mix”, the need for permanent geologic storage is inevitable and required by the country, before, during and after reprocessing minimizes its volume and life.
We can only hope that Harry Reid does not embarrass Obama’s efforts at appointing top scholars to key government management departments vs. Harry Reid’s NIMBY Nevada politics. Nevada’s stake in the future needs the science and engineers for Yucca Mountain and our citizens should adopt another definition for the NIMBY acronym, Now In My Back Yard.
US Nuclear Energy Foundation
US Nuclear Energy 501 (c) (3) Foundation PO Box 2867 * Sparks, NV 89432 775 224-2089
For Immediate Release Contact: Gary J. Duarte, Director
June 30, 2008 775-224-2089
Yucca Mountain, the American Nuclear Society, and Public Policy
At the American Nuclear Society summer meeting in Anaheim, CA one scientist’s question to us was, “What is wrong with the people out there?”
With an estimated $20 to $30 million in personal assets let’s understand that Senator Harry Reid is not really concerned about the cost of energy in Nevada as most retirees, low, and median income people are. If he were after all his years of service, Nevada wouldn’t still be purchasing nearly 50% of its power out of state. Solar strives to reach .22 cents per kilowatt hour at the consumer level and nuclear sells at about .09 cents per kilowatt hour. We must develop renewable energy but let’s have the people with supportive incomes “support” it not the backs of the low and middle class.
Politics aside, Nevada’s business community should be screaming at Nevada’s current and past administrations and economic development agencies for not further “assessing” the potential economic benefits of nuclear science related to the Yucca Mountain Repository. So, while we “watch” our politicians blunder future technology business for Nevada, others are not . . . From their press release, Alternate Energy Holdings . . . “Proposed Nuclear Power Plant Poised to Provide Power for Idaho and US West” . . . and Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. Receives $150 million Private Placement Commitment Letter for Idaho Nuclear Reactor Project. This is only a $4.5 billion construction program for energy and about 70 years of power production and there’s a pretty good chance that California and Nevada will be on their “client” list.
There is also the AREVA Idaho site for a new U.S. uranium enrichment plant west of Idaho Falls, selected for environmental and “socio-economic analysis” (people willing to assess things based on economic benefits or deterrents). The plant is expected to be a $3.5 billion dollar facility. The total for others nearly $10 billion for Nevada zero.
Looking at my old 2006 “education report card” Idaho comes in the U.S. 50 list at 25, Nevada, 37. By the way, of the top 10 rated academic achievement states seven are states with commercial nuclear power plants.
Yucca Mountain: The initial opposition to the Yucca Mountain Project began over two decades ago. For something that should have been addressed by national politics, the nuclear industry and organizations, at the outset it seems that the citizen education of Nevada’s public was ill focused in the beginning and local politics and media misrepresentation of the Yucca science took its toll on public acceptance. Much of the political opposition to the Yucca project was applied by Nevada Senator Harry Reid and his influence on Nevada’s local politics as well as Nevada’s media. This, in combination with his power in Washington, is the reason the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository has been stymied. It seems the DOE and the nuclear industry advocates misread the political opposition in Nevada. In our presentations and testimony we have seen a communication disconnect between politics, the media and Nevada’s citizens.
A communication gap exists between “science” and “citizens” not only on this issue but throughout worldwide science and citizen contact. In the case of Yucca Mountain the DOE provided information, tours, etc. to politicians, industry people, VIPs etc. and only “some” to average Nevada citizens. In the case of Nevada politics, public advocacy may have been better served if the DOE and the industry brought the science of Yucca Mountain directly to the public doorstep in the form of grassroots town meetings much the same way grassroots environmental advocacy groups start at the “citizen” level and grow.
Congress has carefully weighed all options and decided that Yucca Mountain is Nevada's “fair share” of the national burden. We don't hear any public discussion of why anyone thinks it is not our fair share. Left out of all the spin is the fact that Yucca Mountain is also intended for the solidified waste from the nation's weapons production at Hanford, Washington. Will the opponents of the project tell us where they would like the material to go? "Not here" is not a complete answer. Nevada has always been and continues to be an extremely important state to America’s defense security we should not reverse this but embrace and expand our future on it.
US Nuclear Energy is non-profit 501 (c) (3) Foundation: “Our mission is to influence change in public opinion towards knowledgeable citizens about nuclear energy and waste repository issues”
US Nuclear Energy Foundation PO Box 2867 * Sparks, NV 89432 775 224-2089 For Immediate Release Contact: Gary J. Duarte, Director
June 5, 2008 775-224-2089
Yucca Mountain Submits License Application
After two decades of scientific study and documentation, the Department of Energy has submitted its application for construction of Yucca Mountain as the nation’s nuclear waste repository.
“Despite 20 years of opposition to the site, Nevada’s elected officials have not been able to stop this important program that can safely store spent fuel from nuclear power plants,” says Gary Duarte, Director of the US Nuclear Energy Foundation, an educational organization that advocates for the safe storage of nuclear waste.
“Nevada can’t say that getting money from the Federal Government would imply that we consent to the program, since the Fed has provided over $400 million in funding to the State and impacted counties since 1983,” says Duarte. “At one point Secretary of Energy John Herrington said that he felt Nevada could receive $200 million a year if they would demand it. So just imagine if we had received $200 million for 20 years? I’m betting we wouldn’t have a budget deficit.”
Duarte says that technology in reprocessing has advanced to the point where it will be possible to reprocess the plutonium in the waste to power reactors, dramatically reducing the half-life of the plutonium and the amount of waste that would be stored at Yucca.
And the need for a final storage site is increasing as 10 new nuclear power applications have been submitted and another 50 are in the pipeline at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“With the concern of global warming, nuclear is becoming the favorite power source to meet growing energy needs, as it does not produce green house gases,” says Duarte. “When the co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, says that nuclear power is the power source that can save the planet, you know that there has been a paradigm shift.”
Every day that the state of Nevada opposes Yucca Mountain continues is another delay in Nevada’s opportunity to be home to a state-of-the art reprocessing facility that could not only power Nevada homes, but help keep Nevada’s budget in the black.
There are so many reasons that Nevada should move to neutral and at least talk to the Federal Government about funding options, should Yucca be approved. In addition to our www.usnuclearenergy.org another new website, www.yuccafacts.com, has been created for Nevada citizens to provide accurate information about the Yucca Mountain site and technology.
“Nevada’s elected officials have backed themselves into a corner,” says Duarte. “They are only costing us taxpayer dollars money if they continue this futile effort. It’s time they realize that to ensue the site is safe, and that Nevadans will be protected; they need to be at the table.”
The US Nuclear Energy foundation; “Our mission is to influence change in public opinion towards knowledgeable citizens about nuclear energy and waste repository issues”
Press Release: US Nuclear Energy From: Gary J. Duarte, Director Date: June 20, 2007 Re: American Nuclear Society
Gary J. Duarte, Directory of US Nuclear Energy has been invited to attend the American Nuclear Society annual convention. It will be held this year June 24 through the 28th in Boston, MA. Last year’s convention was held in Reno and US Nuclear Energy sponsored a presentation by Dr. Alan Waltar on “Radiation and Modern Life” which was open to the Reno community in its motto of “Bringing Science to Citizens”.
Duarte’s attendance will focus on current issues concerning the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository site and new developments in reactor designs that are amenable to desert climates. Several weeks ago US Nuclear Energy was contacted by General James L. Jones (ret) President & CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce “Institute For Energy” in Washington, DC. They hope to investigate ways to complement their efforts of public outreach of nuclear issues.
In addition to its presentation programs US Nuclear Energy contacts political leaders and the media urging proactive review of the nuclear energy industry and waste repository management. US Nuclear is also currently contacting the nation’s Governors urging them to review the science studies on Yucca Mountain and urge the State of Nevada to reassess its position on the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository.
Gary J. Duarte, Director US Nuclear Energy PO Box 2867 Sparks, NV 89432
Press Release: US Nuclear Energy From: Gary J. Duarte, Director Date: December 20, 2006 Re: Yucca Mountain, our need for Star Trek Logic
1) Yucca Mountain Defined: For nearly two years, NV Nuclear Energy which grew into US Nuclear Energy is a group of ordinary people “Bringing Science to Citizens” through our website, various presentations, mailings, etc. Additional to this effort we have been supportive and an advocate for the development and construction of the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository project in Nevada. For the most part this project has been a thorn in the side of the US Department of Energy, the US nuclear industry and the American public. Primarily caused by Nevada politics, an ill informed media and misguided public opinion, all of which are seemingly unable to articulate an accurate foundational understanding of nuclear energy and nuclear waste management.
2) The Science: In our limited attempt to try and overview the science behind nuclear power plants and the scientific study of the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository it is evident that very much science and engineering over decades has been applied to both these technologies. The bottom line is, the industry has proven that nuclear power is SAFE! And the MAJORITY of government and private company scientists AGREE that the development and construction of the Yucca Mountain Project is the BEST and safest method to STORE our current nuclear waste material.
3) The Books: We have lightly reviewed several books including Uncertainty Underground, Yucca Mountain and the Nation’s High-Level Nuclear Waste, Macfarlane & Ewing, The Nuclear Energy Option, Dr. Bernard Cohen, Radiation and Modern Life, Dr. Alan E. Waltar.
4) The Logic:Where is Mr. Spock when you need him? Leonard Nimoy. Mr. Spock, the Doc of logic! Remember those days of Star Trek and the simple, blatant, “logic” of Mr. Spock . . . made since? I wish our politicians media and public could aspire to the Mr. Spock logic.
5) The Truth: In our American judicial system man is innocent until proven guilty! In the case of the Yucca Mountain science, it has been judged guilty of failure without “proving” that the science would fail! It is untruthful and illogical to judge failure unless the prosecution can “prove” beyond any “reasonable” doubt that the Yucca Mountain design will FAIL! No other scientific entity on our planet has ever had to prove 10,000 or 100,000 years of sustainable stability for its construction . . . medicine, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, etc.
6) The Challenge: Our strongest and most logical contention is that the “majority” of government and private companies participating in the scientific study of Yucca Mountain “concluded” that its design and proposed construction is safe and should be built. We would challenge any scientific entity to come forward and “prove beyond any reasonable doubt” that the Yucca Mountain design and construction would “FAIL”.
In April of 2006 US Nuclear Energy wrote a letter to Samuel Bodman, Secretary of the Department of Energy. Based on our limited ability to research and evaluate the general information about Yucca Mountain we asked if the DOE could provide an analysis based on the “majority” of the scientists, engineers and their overall conclusions to its directive as the best, safest and most logical location for a national nuclear repository. The best way for us to provide their response is to include it below.
11/07/06 Thank you for your e-mail of September 4, 2006, to Secretary of Energy Bodman regarding the Yucca Mountain Project and your “Bringing Science to Citizens” efforts. Secretary Bodman forwarded your letter to the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management for a response.
In your letter you asked for statistical information showing that the majority of scientists who have studied the Yucca Mountain data agree that it is the best location for a repository. Although we do not have the sort of statistical breakdown you requested, to date the preponderance of scientists in the relevant disciplines who have studied the Yucca Mountain data and analysis do seem to agree that Yucca Mountain is an excellent site for a repository for a number of reasons.
As you may know, at the request of the former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), in the mid-1950s the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) considered the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and recommended geologic disposal as the best alternative. The NAS especially recommended salt formations as a potentially suitable type of host rock for geologic disposal. At the recommendation of the NAS, the AEC then commissioned the U.S. Geological Survey to prepare a detailed report on the salt deposits in the United States. As recently as 2001, the NAS renewed its strong recommendation for geologic disposal in a report entitled Disposition of High-Level Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel: The Continuing Societal and Technical Challenges (http://newton.nap.edu/catalog/10119.html#toc)
In 1976, the Energy Research and Development Agency, which was a descendant agency from the AEC and later became the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), expanded the geologic disposal evaluation program to study different types of host rocks for a potential repository. In the 1970s, Dr. Isaac J. Winograd, a prominent scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), recommended disposing of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in the thick, unsaturated zones of the arid regions of the southwestern United States. Dr. Winograd’s letter pointed out that unsaturated rock had the advantage that “the amount of water reaching the repository will be very small” and that a repository can be designed for such rock that will allow water to pass through the repository into the permeable rocks below with minimal contact with the canisters of waste.
In 1976, another USGS scientist pointed out that the Nevada Test Site, which offered a variety of geologic media, had been heavily studied since the late 1950s and that even then, in the late 1970s, scientists had already compiled “a wealth of hydrological, geological, and geophysical data and information which, in many respects, is unequaled anywhere else in the United States.”
Later, USGS scientists specifically recommended Yucca Mountain for study for several reasons: Southern Nevada is characterized by closed hydrologic basins, meaning the groundwater does not discharge into rivers that flow into major bodies of surface water. There are very long flow paths between the proposed repository location and any actual groundwater discharge point. The rocks at Yucca Mountain have geochemical characteristics favorable for waste isolation. The arid climate provides little water to infiltrate the mountain and come in contact with the planned double-shelled waste packages.
After the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 became law, DOE identified nine sites, of differing rock types, as deserving further study. In 1986 DOE nominated five of those nine as worth in-depth study and recommended to President Reagan three of the five as the most promising. The three, each in a different type of rock formation, were at Deaf Smith County, Texas (bedded salt formation); Hanford, Washington (basalt); and Yucca Mountain, Nevada (layered volcanic tuff).
In 1987, Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act, which directed DOE to study only Yucca Mountain. By that point, scientists had already collected an enormous amount of information about Yucca Mountain from field and laboratory studies. In most comparisons among the sites under study, Yucca Mountain ranked the highest even then. Yucca Mountain has many positive attributes that would contribute to safe geologic disposal, including the site’s remoteness, arid climate, multiple natural barriers, deep depth to water table, and a geologically- isolated hydrologic basin. The aquifer, some 2,000 feet beneath the surface of the mountain, does not move far or fast, does not connect to another aquifer, and does not discharge into any river or stream that feeds any lake or ocean.
It is also notable that over the decades, studies of geologic disposal and Yucca Mountain in particular have involved both government and non-government scientists. Work by the NAS, AEC, DOE, the national laboratories, and USGS have been supplemented by research performed by universities and private non-profit research and development organizations, such as the Electric Power Research Institute. The scientific studies of Yucca Mountain have also been peer-reviewed by independent international scientific bodies, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
If you have additional questions regarding the Yucca Mountain Project, please visit our website at www.ocrwm.doe.gov or call our toll-free information line at 1-800-225-6972.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The position of US Nuclear Energy is that this document summarizes 20 plus years of study, events and planning of the Yucca Mountain Nevada nuclear repository site as BEST site in the United States. As of 2006 any further opposition to kill, delay, postpone this project needed by the US nuclear industry and the American people should be considered a travesty of justice. The State of Nevada and Nevada’s representatives to the US Congress and Senate should be held accountable to bring this long belabored debate and the truth of its science to a logical understanding for the citizens of Nevada and our American sister states.