Friday, June 6, 2008

NUKE EQUIPMENT FIRM SAYS YUCCA MOUUNTAIN IS 'FOOL'S ERRAND'

RALPH VARTABEDIAN, LOS ANGELES TIMES The Energy Department's safety plan for handling containers of radioactive waste before they are buried at the proposed Yucca Mountain dump has become a "fool's errand," according to a major nuclear equipment supplier. Under current plans, the casks of nuclear waste material awaiting burial at Yucca Mountain could be sent into a "chaotic melee of bouncing and rolling juggernauts" in an earthquake, according to Holtec International, one of the nation's largest manufacturers of nuclear waste storage systems.

The blistering critique of safety standards is in a newsletter that Holtec sent last week to its customers and suppliers, warning that the project has become a "doomed undertaking." Holtec supplies storage casks to power plants around the country.

Nevada officials say the harsh comments deepen their concerns about the site of the repository.

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