12/01/2004

The Federal Government Is Gambling With Our Lives

Due to the lack of funds, scheduled testing on the casks used to transport nuclear waste will not be performed. But even without the testing, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the casks. An estimated 3,000 tons of nuclear waste a year will pass through 45 states in its way to Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

The actions of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are nothing less than gambling with the lives of more than 11 million U.S. citizens.

11 comments:

Jake said...

I think that it is unfortunate that the tests are not going to be performed on the casks. The government needs to figure out a way to find the necessary funds to perform those tests. It is too much of a risk for the casks not to be tested. Utah and Nevada have seen first hand the affects of previous nuclear testing, and something needs to be done to avoid a similar problem.

Max said...

The spending bill that was just approved by congress contained $27.8 million to cover a shortfall in compensation for downwinders. It seems to me it would be more economical to find the funds to test the casks, than to be exposed to the possibility of another downwinder incident.

Kova said...

I think compensation for the downwinders is very necessary. My grandmother developed breast cancer as a result of the nuclear testing that was done and the money that she received was very needed. Many people experienced horrible things because of the testing and they deserve compensation.

pramahaphil said...

What happens when the government approves the budget for the tests and the same nuclear waste has to pass through the same states, this time with a much larger price tag with all the added testing costs? I'm all for safety, especially when it comes to nuclear waste, but is it a bit much to say that they are gambling with lives when really it's just all about money??

Student 01 said...

Every time you leave your house/apartment you are gambling. When you leave your front door and out into the big and hateful, scary, evil world you take your life into your own hands. Only paranoid people worry so obsessively about such things. The likely hood of you being hurt by one of these casks is probably less likely then you being hit by the presidential limo in Cedar City.

Both the article and the blog make it sound as if there has never been any testing on these casks, there has been some testing and they have been found to be safe to a point or the would have never considered using them.

Bruce Banner said...

When comes to testing, it is all about money and who will profit from it. Saftey should be very important for the well being for the people and if the safety provision fails then the people should be will compensated for the mistakes.

John West said...

I don't like the idea of all that waste coming along the I15 corridor in Southern Utah, but I realize that it has to be placed somewhere and from what I have heard and read Yucca mountain is a very good spot for the waste to be kept. Its remoteness and geological make-up are part of what is what makes it a good choice. Harry Reid ,senator from Nevada, has been trying in vain to get it [Yucca] removed from consideration for the waste, but I don't see it going anywhere but in the West and this is I guess as good as spot as any.

Joe said...

Sounds to me like most of these people beleive that there are sufficiant testing being done. Adding more test would just increase cost, that is unneeded. I am not sure exactly what is being done but using more money to do things that are not needed is a waist of tax payers dollars.

miles said...

I think that safety is important. The government is not only gambling with the probability to put our lives in danger but also gambling with a chance of lawsuits. Like the downwiders case, the government is gambling with the chance of the outcome if the casks are faulty.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 for four spelling mistakes in Joe's post.

There are two issues here: risk analysis and public choice.

The containers will never be 100% safe - nothing is. But I don't even want an evaluation of how risky they are. What I'd like is a list that details lives saved per dollars spent. If testing the containers is down somewhere near dying from anaphylactic shock from bee stings, then I'm probably OK with it. My guess is that it probably is: personal automobile travel is the biggest source of unalleviated risk in our society.

As to public choice, this says that small vocal minorities can have political power out of proportion to their voting presences; this coming at the expense of large silent majorities. The reason is that the costs (benefits) are focused on the minority, while the benefits (costs) are diffused over the majority. I wonder in this case if we're not hearing enough from the vast majority of American people that want this problem dealt with and finished.

Perhaps an alternative approach for the government is to post a performance bond - an explicit monetary statement of how much they will fork over to people in this area from Fort Knox if they screw this up.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm wigotneszparki wytryski