Available: Mountain property. Convenient to nowhere. Accessible via deteriorating roads. Features one mountain containing a 5-mile U-shaped tunnel, going nowhere. Use the railroad tracks in the tunnel at your own risk. On-site buildings do not meet OSHA standards. Must be willing to deal with three government landlords. Property encumbered by lawsuits galore.
That, in essence, is a description of Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
For 30 years, the mountain was the presumed site of the nation’s nuclear waste repository. Billions were spent studying and preparing the mountain to receive used fuel from the nation’s 103 commercial nuclear power plants.
But after the Obama administration killed plans for the nuclear dump — and here is some of why it was killed — Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, asked the Government Accountability Office to look for other uses for the 230-square-mile site a two-hour drive from Las Vegas.
On Monday, the GAO released a list of 30 alternative uses for Yucca Mountain…
— A commercial energy park for nuclear, solar and wind power generation.
— A command center for unmanned aerial vehicles.
— A training site for first responders.
— A secure data storage site.
— A strategic petroleum reserve for the western part of the country.
— A facility for research on highly infectious diseases.
— A university to teach mining techniques…
Any agency with an interest in Yucca will find one other obstacle: getting into the facility. When the government shut down the site, it closed access and shut down utilities and a system used to ventilate radon gas. GAO investigators decided to forgo a visit to the mountain after learning that reopening the tunnel for a day would cost $20,000 to $50,000.
The Department of Energy development of this project could serve as an historic example of the inherent corruption of political management of national tasks in the United States. Decades of stealing from taxpayers, ignoring safety concerns, lying about studies, distorting and forging scientific studies to suit politicians and greedy developers. I don’t think they left anything out.