Opposition to DOE's Nevada nuclear waste storage plan
Canisters very much like this one will store nuclear waste in Nye County. (Jon Castagnino/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Nuclear waste is coming to Nevada, and it appears there's nothing that can be done to stop it.
On Wednesday night, the Department of Energy outlined its plan to begin shipping more than 400 canisters of highly radioactive waste from Tennessee to Nevada as early as January.
A small crowd gathered at Cashman Center to listen to the plan. It involves 403 canisters filled uranium-233 which will be transported from Oak Ridge, TN, to the Nevada National Security Site in Nye County.
"What's the reason to store it here, 300 miles away?" one attendee asked.
"I don't trust this being brought here. I don't like the fact this is being used as a dumping ground, and we deserve better," said another.
The waste is currently being stored above ground because it is categorized as low level. Nevada has no power to block its transport. The DOE claims the state is the safest place in which to store it.
"It has ideal conditions for it. It has low rainfall. It's an arid climate. The radionuclides in the disposal facility never reach groundwater," said the DOE's Frank Marcinowski.
The majority of those who attended the town hall meeting said they don't want it stored in their backyard.
"What they plan on bringing in the spring is a much higher danger than is there right now," attendee Morgan Blakeley said.
It will take between 50 and 100 shipments and a year and a half for all of it to arrive. It will be buried 40 feet underground.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said he is vehemently opposed to the plan. There is no official start date for shipment.
The DOE claims storing the waste in Nevada is in the best interest of national security.
There will be another town hall meeting on the subject Thursday in Pahrump at the Nevada Treasure RV Resort. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
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