Controversy Simmers at Atomic-Waste Site

By Monastersky, R. | Science News, June 12, 1999 | Go to article overview

Controversy Simmers at Atomic-Waste Site


Monastersky, R., Science News


Deep within the parched landscape of southwest Nevada, scientists are analyzing the geologic personality of an unassuming ridge called Yucca Mountain. At issue is whether the bald, elongated promontory has a stable character--steadfast enough to house the highly radioactive waste generated by nuclear power plants across the United States. The range must lock up this hot debris for the next 10,000 years.

During the past 15 years, hundreds of geologists have crawled over Yucca Mountain, making it the best-studied piece of real estate on the planet. Recently, however, a debate has erupted over some curious events discovered in the mountain's past that could signal an underlying restlessness in its constitution.

"The implications of this finding can be very serious for the [planned] repository," says Yuri V. Dublyansky, a Russian geologist studying Yucca mountain under contract with the state of Nevada, which opposes the repository.

Scientists with the U.S. Geologic Survey counter that the unruly behavior was confined to Yucca Mountain's infancy, millions of years ago, and has no bearing on its current character. The Department of Energy (DOE), which oversees the investigation into Yucca Mountain, is now conducting an independent review of Dublyansky's controversial findings, hoping to resolve the scientific wrangling. The two sides discussed their work last week at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Boston.

Yucca Mountain is the only site currently under consideration as a repository for spent nuclear fuel. DOE began studying the ridge in the mid-1980s and had intended to open the facility by 1998. Although it has yet to finish assessing the site, DOE last December issued a report concluding that no "showstopper" had emerged in its studies to date.

The plans call for canisters of nuclear waste to reside in the mountain's heart, within rooms cut out of the volcanic rock formations 300 meters below the summit. This would keep the waste hundreds of meters above the water table, preventing the radioactive elements from leaking quickly into the groundwater.

The current debate centers on the history of water within the mountain. Dublyansky, a researcher at the Institute of Mineralogy and Petrology in Novosibirsk, Russia, claims that hot brines have surged upward in geologically recent times, reaching a level that would flood the repository. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Controversy Simmers at Atomic-Waste Site
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.