Nuclear Waste Disposal

Nuclear waste is a growing concern in the Untied States and throughout the world today. Even right now as I type this paper Congress is debating as to allow nuclear waste to be stored in Yucca Mountain in Nevada. This debate in Congress will help decide the way that the Untied States deals with nuclear waste issues in the future. Nuclear waste is hazardous to human life. It contains many harmful chemicals that could hurt life. Nuclear waste could even disrupt or genetics and cause mutations in human life forms. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified four different categories of waste: corrosive, ignitable, reactive, and toxic. A corrosive material is a material that can wear away or destroy a substance. A ignitable material is a material that can burst into flames very easily. These pose as a fire hazard and can irritate your skin, eyes, and lungs, and they emitted harmful vapors. A reactive material is a material that can explode or create poisonous gases when combined with other chemicals. A toxic material is a material or substance that can poison people or other life. Toxic substances can cause illness and even result in death if they are absorbed through the skin or if they are swallowed (Hazard,1).

Those are the main four reasons why this issue is in hot debate in the United States now. Residents that live in peaceful communities do not want these materials to end up in their communities. Even if it means that a train or a freight truck will be hauling these materials through the peaceful community for long a single moment. People are just afraid of what could happen in the single moment in their community. They do not want to take the risk of having those dangerous and hazardous materials going through their communities at all. This issue if dealt right could land President Bush right back in the White House again after the next election, but if he handles this important issue wrong. Then that could make for the next president of the Untied States. This is an important issue in the United States today because many people still fear nuclear waste because of what has happened at Chernobyl. They are afraid that they might be forced to leave their homes and lives behind because the area will be too contaminated for them to live in anymore and they do not want that to happen to them.

Pro side: Nuclear waste does not always necessarily cause harmful pollution into rivers or water. at Meentinny West, Rockchapel, was raided last Thursday by gardai after a two-week surveillance operation. Water samples were taken for analysis, but the council said it was confident there had been no pollution of the nearby River Feale (Council,1). This one example of where waste does not cause harm to the environment in all situations. Right now in Boise, Idaho the Energy Department is being sued by environmentalists. The Energy Department has over 800,000 gallons of nuclear waste stored at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. The Energy Department plans and moving all but 100,000 gallons of the waste. They say that only the small amounts of waste will not cause any harm to anybody, but the environmentalist disagree with them. The Energy Department has assured the residents of Idaho not to be worried about the nuclear waste (Associated, 1&2). Con side: Waste can cause many problems that people are not really aware of. For instance, ..A waste system in North Cowichan has created poor air quality in a nearby residential neighborhood.

Dr. Fred Rockwell, medial health officer with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, said the poor air quality may cause throat and eye irritation in healthy people (Waste, 1). If poor air quality causes throat and eye irritation in healthy people then what does this air quality causes to the elderly or even infants. Under Bushes plan to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of nuclear waste would have to go through Chicago on its route to Nevada. Because of this many people in Illinois are not to thrilled with the idea of that much waste traveling through Illinois. Several national environmental groups, which have dubbed the Yucca transportation plan Mobile Chernobyl, say the unprecedented increase of shipments and volumes of waste coming through the region is the equivalent of playing Russian roulette too often (Orrick, 3). Everywhere in the world people are worried about the transportation of spent nuclear fuel and waste.

The islands neighboring the Caribbean Sea or worried about Japan right now because Japan sends its spent nuclear fuel and waste to France for recycling and then they spend it back to Japan. The islands are worried about this because the ship that carry these shipments travel through the Caribbean Sea and they are concerned about a spill that is most likely to happen at some point in time in their waters. They believe that if an accident was to happen it would lower tourism and decrease the fishing industries (Antigua,1). Critical Analysis: I strongly support the idea of nuclear waste being a major hazard to the quality of human life.

No matter what the Energy Department might say, it is a know fact that nuclear waste is hazardous. The United States government lies to the people all the time, why would I start believing them now. The islands of the Caribbean Sea are worried about the concern of a nuclear waste spills (Antigua,1). Look at those people in the Caribbean they are scarred of nuclear waste why shouldnt we be scarred. Because the government says that we shouldnt, wrong! We shouldnt listen to them, about these matters. I believe that nuclear energy is a good form of energy. It is a lot cheaper than fossil fuels and if we can contain the waste then it would be the most valuable form of energy that we have. I am just worried about what we are going to do with the waste from nuclear energy.

You do not really want to move the nuclear waste because if it spill what is going to happen next? You have people worried about their families and homes. When people envision their perfect home in the suburbs, I bet that they never ever thought of a nuclear waste spill or even nuclear waste at all. I myself do not want to live in an area where nuclear waste will be traveling though. Once that waste is spilled the air quality for probably about one or two square miles is contaminated. Will everyone help the elderly and the small children get away so they do not breath in the contaminated air? Probably not the elderly because people will be thinking about saving their own butts. I do not know a whole lot about contaminated air but I am guessing that probably about five or more minutes breathing that air will start to have an effect on you. Who wants to live in or around an area with contaminated area quality zones? Nobody will want to live there.

People will just start moving away from the area and that county or even that state will start losing revenue. Just because their was one raid out of a million were the river near the site was not contaminated the government is trying to tell us that nuclear waste is not a bad thing. One out of a million, who likes those odds? Thats like saying how about we put a gun to your head and one out of a million slots will be blank. I do not like those odds and that is why the government is full of it. People who are in favor of nuclear waste need to get a wake up call and realize that it dangerous. Nuclear energy is probably the best source of energy we have at this available time, but until they learn how to dispose of its waste in an environmental safe way, I will always be against nuclear energy and the waste that it produces.

Works Cited

Antigua-Waste Caribbean Worried about nuclear waste shipments. EFE News Service. March 10, 2002. Associated Press. March 5, 2002. Energy Dept. Sued Over Nuclear Waste. www.wastedisposal.com. Associated Press. February 17, 2002. Waste Pile fire a health hazard, doc says. Victoria Times Colonist. Hazardous Waste Introduction. March 2, 2002. http://environment.about.com/library/weekly. Holt, Mark. Nuclear Waste Disposal: Background. April 23, 2001. Congressional Research Reports. Orrick, Dave. March 3, 2002. Nuclear Waste plan: Good or bad for the suburbs? Chicago Daily Herald. Nuclear Waste Task Force – Nuclear Waste – Sierra Club. 2002. www.mamma.com. www.sierraclub.org/nuclearwaste/nucw.asp. Simberg, Rand. February 28, 2002. Nuclear Waste Should be Stored on the Moon. Fox News. Council Denies Dump Waste is Hazardous. January 23, 2002. www.mamma.com. www.utvinternet.com.