Yucca mountain represents one of the most geologically stable excavated sites in the United States. Secure underground storage is the best way to minimize the hazard from nuclear waste. The argument that the impact of nuclear waste storage at the Yucca Mountain Facility cannot be fully ascertained is misleading, as it falsely implies that the impacts of alternate sites could be better known, and that the status quo is a preferable alternative to the use of Yucca Mountain.
Advocates of waiting for an improved disposal process make the implicit assertion that, should a better processing technology be developed, waste stored in Yucca mountain could not simply be removed from the mountain and processed.
Yucca Mountain represents an opportunity to minimize the present hazard of nuclear waste which can provide benefit while alternative solutions are sought.
Yes, storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain is a good idea, because the waste needs to be stored somewhere. Storing the waste in a mountain likely isolates the waste from people, and provides a bit of a buffer through natural land mass if there are any problems with the waste later on. Engineers have developed relatively safe systems for storing the waste there, and it is effective and as safe as possible.
Yucca Mountain is not a scientifically sound site for the disposal of spent fuel. The decision to site Yucca as a waste repository was based on politics rather than science. It is known to the scientific community as common sense that a waste repository used for isolation purposes should be placed as far away from the human environment as possible. Yet Yucca is only 100 miles from Las Vegas. The geology of Yucca does not meet the standards that need to be present in order for the repository to function properly. The mountain’s geology, which is mostly volcanic ash, is not expected to provide an adequate barrier between the radioactive waste and the environment.
Using Yucca Mountain in Nevada as a nuclear waste repository is a terrible idea. There are untold effects that the storage of nuclear waste can have on the surrounding animals and ecosystem. There may be no apparent effect at the moment, but there is no way to know what will happen in the future.