energypaper - The use of nuclear energy is an issue that...

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The use of nuclear energy is an issue that the United States has had continuous arguments of whether it should continue to be used or be halted. If nuclear energy is used there lies the question of where should it be disposed at. Yucca Mountain is an area in Nevada that the Bush Administration has suggested into containing nuclear waste disposal. In Issue 19 of Easton’s book Taking Sides he discusses whether it’s a good or bad idea for the waste to be sent exclusively underground the mountain. One of the issues is that the mountain is located in a seismically active zone and a major earthquake would spill nuclear contamination into the aquifer located near the recommended site, which obviously has drastic effects of the environment (Easton, 207). The type of waste that will go to Yucca Mountain is the type of nuclear waste that has high radioactivity and is kept away from living things. This nuclear was is to be kept in “safe” compartments. Why should they be located in one location and not multiple locations? Are there political influences that undermine multiple locations to be used for nuclear disposal? Easton explained that “such materials must be kept away from people and other living things –with no possibility of contaminating air, water, or soil” (Easton, 330) Yucca Mountain waste site contaminates all three. Spencer Abraham supports the placement of nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain and he trusts the methods of the studies performed to complete this tasks, Gar Smith opposes this since he eyes the danger of terrorism that is related to containment of nuclear waste.
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Spencer cites many of the benefits that nuclear energy has given us such as the atomic bomb that helped win World War II or the heavy use of nuclear power that powers the country. (Easton, 331) He has a bias towards the positive effects of using nuclear power instead of alternative and “safer” methods such as using wind power turbines, hydrogen based power and solar energy. The U.S. nuclear waste disposal has been eying mostly Yucca Mountain for some time. Spencer backs up Yucca Mountain since it has been researched for 20 years that reaches a conclusion that it will likely work efficiently (Easton, 333). He states that in 1982 it had been recognized from the scientific community to place nuclear wastes to be contained underground in caverns, caves, or mines. Spencer Abraham is a politician was the Secretary of Energy with the Bush Administration until early 2005. He completed his education in law school. He supports the use of nuclear energy. He isn’t exactly a scientist but he is a politician who extracts his knowledge from scientific research. He explains that Yucca Mountain is in a stable spot that is distant from any major cities or metropolitan areas. It is noticeable that he states “substantial evidence shows that it will” when discussing that using the mountain safely for nuclear waste. His report doesn’t give the exact details of the research that was made yet he does
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This note was uploaded on 04/22/2008 for the course POLS 4553 taught by Professor Lawler during the Spring '08 term at Oklahoma State.

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energypaper - The use of nuclear energy is an issue that...

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