Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lemonade from Lemons

Hi, guys!

In all the news of massive government spending, increased taxes, and a nonetheless slowing economy, perhaps you missed this.  Some bad news followed by some good news!

Last week's Obama budget for 2009 deleted all funding for the continuation of work on the
National Radioactive Nuclear Waste site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.  This was in keeping with Candidate Obama's promise to "protect the people of Nevada" and Senator Harry Reid, who in 2006 pronounced the Yucca Mountain Project as "dead," just before announcing that the surge in Iraq would never work and "this war is lost." So, Obama's budget decision was good news for Harry but not so good for the rest of America.

We have spent nuclear waste currently stored at 121 outdoor sites throughout America, each site meant to be temporary and each a hazard of radioactive material being stolen.  In 1982, Congress passed and the President signed the Nuclear Waste Act, mandating study on several sites around America for permanent and secure storage of this material.  Five years later, Congress selected the Yucca Mountain site in the Nevada desert, some 80 miles south of Las Vegas.  After a failed Nevada challenge in the courts, Congress again confirmed Yucca Mountain in 2002 and serious planning work continued.

To date, the American taxpayer has invested $9 Billion in railway, site planning and initial construction.  In addition, we have purchased a $13 Million tunnel boring device designed specifically to complete the work at Yucca Mountain.  

The EPA  and the Department of Energy have each spent addditional funds to separately CERTIFY in 2005 that the radiation leak risk from Yucca Mountain is so small that the US Government stands behind its finding that less than 1 millirem of radiation per year is the highest possible risk, and that for 10,000 years!  That's less radiation than you get making one coast to coast flight... Unsatisfactory to Senator Reid, additional studies led to USG certification (that means financial liability) that the Yucca Mountain site would be safe for ONE MILLION years.  Still unsatisfactory for the man who declared the project "dead" three years ago.  So, the Obama Administration has announced that it will begin all over again to do the work that has been going on for 27 years.  

More bad news.  In the $787 Billion"Stimulus Act" recently signed by President Obama, there were to be no "earmarks."  They still insist that to be true.  However, one "shovel ready" project was $8 Billion for work on high speed rail projects ready to be built.  Trouble is, there was only one such project anywhere in the nation - the high speed rail line long championed by the Senate Majority Leader to link Las Vegas to Los Angeles.  Apparently the twenty-odd flights per day between the two cities were not enough to keep the dice hot or the cards shuffled enough for Harry.  So, high speed rail there will be, thanks to the good senator. Oink!

Do you see how any of this can possibly end in good news?

Here's how.  With all the transportation plans done for the Yucca Mountain site to accept delivery of nuclear waste, let's get some value for the money we've spent and will spend!  A few minor adjustments, and we can have the waste continue to be delivered to the Yucca Mountain site where it can be easily transloaded onto the Harry Reid High Speed Rail and delivered to Los Angeles, specifically the location  shown below.  Let the recipients figure out what to do with their gift from Harry.  "Go ahead, make my day..."

Wasted years? - 27

Wasted dollars? - $9.5 Billion plus

Solving two long term problems at once? - PRICELESS!


Suzanne C said...

AMEN, dude!

The Dragonfly said...

You're funny dad.

Apis Melliflora said...

I'm glad you read the papers so closely and can find humor in even the more discouraging stories. The only thing not wasted here is your sparkling wit!

The Queen Vee said...

AS are you, priceless.

Anonymous said...

"I am proud to be an American, where at least I know I am free" and the government is too to spend money on insanely stupid projects