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PUREX collapse serves as Yucca warning

PUREX collapse serves as Yucca warning. 5/10/17 (KSNV)

“The lesson is pretty clear,” Senator Dean Heller tells us “Nevada just simply cannot be the waste dump for the rest of the country. Especially a state that doesn’t provide or produce waste themselves."

The lesson Senator Heller is referring to is the collapse of a section of tunnel at the PUREX facility in Hanford, Washington. That collapse on Tuesday started emergency procedures and forced employees into their homes.

PUREX stores radioactive waste and has been the center of federal cleanup efforts since the 1980’s. The fear was a collapse would allow radioactive material into the air. While there is no sign of any contamination yet, the threat of a spill in Washington State has sparked renewed criticism of a plan in Nevada. A plan called the “Screw Nevada Bill.”

That plan, nearly thirty-years-old, would use Yucca Mountain in Nye County as a storage facility. Depending on rock walls and tunnels to house nuclear waste from across the country.

The plan stalled when funding for research into the project dried up. There is renewed interest from the Trump Administration to reopen that testing.

Senator Heller joined members of Nevada’s Congressional delegation to rally against the Yucca plan just weeks ago. Now the collapse in Hanford is being used as evidence of just how dangerous Yucca can be. Senator Heller putting it bluntly. “Yucca Mountain is dead and Hanford is a perfect example of the dangers.”

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