Yucca Mountain stalemate

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By Roger Snodgrass

From the geological perspective, a quarter century or so is not a lot of time. But for many observers, progress in creating the world’s first geological high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada has been so glacially slow as to seem like no motion at all.

“Nuclear Waste Stalemate,” the title of a book by Robert Vandenbosch and Susanne E. Vandenbosch and published last year, captures the essence of that virtual standstill, as the book digs into the “Political and Scientific Controversies” – the volume’s subtitle – that continue very nearly to cancel each other out.

Robert Vandenbosch is an emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Washington and his wife Susanne has a Ph.D.    in political science.

“I’m more opposed to Yucca Mountain than Bob is,” Susanne said, in a recent interview with the authors. “We both feel this should be solved.”

With at least two sides of the debate represented, the authors say they have tried to provide an academic perspective without too much opinion, in a field where there are many books clearly against the Yucca Mountain project and perhaps not quite as many in favor.

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