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BOB CARRICK, San Clemente
Letter writer Richard Green wants to blame Republicans for the current nuclear storage problem at San Onofre, but that ignores the facts.
In 1978, the Department of Energy began studying Yucca Mountain, located in the Nevada desert, to determine if it would be suitable for long-term storage of our nation’s nuclear waste.
After years of exhaustive studies and billions of dollars spent, in 2002, Republican President George W. Bush signed House Joint Resolution 87 allowing the DOE to establish Yucca Mountain as the best location to store our nuclear waste.
In 2006, under President Bush, the DOE proposed March 31, 2017 as the date to begin accepting nuclear waste. But also, in 2006, Nevada Democrat Harry Reid became Senate Majority Leader, gaining enough power to effectively kill the project, saying “Yucca Mountain is dead. It’ll never happen.”
During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama, a Democrat, promised to abandon the Yucca Mountain Project, and in 2009 after his election, Energy Secretary Steven Chu stated in a Senate hearing that Yucca Mountain was no longer an option for storing nuclear waste.
So, after 30 years of studies, we had a location to store the waste and a timetable when to start placing it there, but Democrats Harry Reid and Barack Obama killed it.
There probably isn’t a perfect place to store nuclear waste, but Yucca Mountain, out in the middle of a vast desert, is certainly preferable than the current situation where nuclear waste is stored in a prime location within reach of millions of people.
But don’t blame that on Republicans.