Las Vegas Review-Journal

Wednesday, January 31, 2001
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Letters: Nuke cash

Nuke cash

To the editor:

In response to Robert Kunemund's Jan. 25 letter, I think it should be noted that there are no tax dollars supporting the work at Yucca Mountain. The work at Yucca Mountain is paid for by money taken from the Nuclear Waste Fund. The fund is accumulated from a fee paid on every kilowatt of electricity generated at the nuclear power plants around the country. This money is administered by the DOE through the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management.

As a former Las Vegas resident, I feel I understand some of the concerns of the Nevada residents. But as a nuclear engineering professional, I also believe that spent commercial nuclear fuel will never be buried permanently. Nuclear reactor fuel cycle studies completed more than 25 years ago have shown that the long lived isotopes can be recycled and used in reactors just as the plutonium from old nuclear weapons can be burned to produce useful rather then destructive energy. The solution is to build new nuclear power plants and use these energy containing materials in a beneficial manner.