The Duluth News Tribune‘s Jan. 5, 2012, editorial (re-published July 10, 2014) blithely considered the grave issue of high-level radioactive waste storage, asking with its headline, “Nuclear waste here? Actually, why not?”
For answers, editors suggested we listen to scientists. This was sound advice, but it raised a question: Which scientists? It was scientific analysis that led to the cancellation of the Yucca Mountain, Nev., dump site plan – that and the staggering 2008 cost estimate of $90 billion, which was up from $58 billion in 2001, according to the New York Times. Yucca Mountain was chosen by Congress in 1987 and was vigorously pursued to the tune of $9 billion for decades. But then a long string of scientific show stoppers proved the site unsuitable, and the Obama White House and Energy Department gave it the ax.