Yucca Mountain

The method by which engineers can test and try to get better on trustworthiness of any new technology is to work with it for some time. Same sort of things are done everywhere first the model is prepared and then it is tested first, after testing the shortcomings are removed before launching the product in the market.

But this cannot be done in every case as the case of Yucca Mountain is also the same; in this case it has been decided to make this mountain a place where nuclear waste can be disposed off.  But before executing this plan a test or experiment is to be done, but this is not a normal experiment, it can be really dangerous if the nuclear waste leaks out, as we know that it can be highly radioactive and create a long lasting problem for the environment.

The researchers who are continuously writing in the science magazines are demanding regularly an analysis of all the geologic processes and atomic scale processes for this, to know what is actually going on in this important issue. This is the only reason they are not with the US President’s decision to make Yucca Mountain a place for disposing nuclear waste. They are against this project till all their worries regarding this are properly solved.

Rodney Ewing from the Michigan University and Allison Macfarlane from MIT are not in favor of establishing a repository at this mountain, they say this decision is more based on political thinking and not on scientific facts, they have pointed out some changes in the design of this repository to sustain their findings.

So the barrier for the nuclear waste to escape from this place is to be designed more scientifically and properly. Yucca Mountain primarily was chosen due to the characteristics it has, this mountain is around 300 meters above from the level of the water, which is perfect to keep the waste as the waste can be kept dry. But recent studies shows that water anytime can come towards the nuclear waste and can carry the radioactive waste with it. Because of the danger of the waste being washed away by the water the need of some technically sound barriers is increasing, which can stop the waste from contaminating the water.

Yucca Mountain has its own geological barrier to stop the waste from being washed out but it cannot be trusted fully, and the scientists now say if the geological properties of this site cannot save the nuclear waste to be washed away, then what is the point of making a repository here.

But the problem which is discussed by Ewing and MacFarlane is only the one, what’s going to happen if sudden climate change occurs or any volcanic activity is noted on the site and if the durability of metallic waste fails. These all issues are to be discussed in detail and in scientific way. Over all we can say due to its natural features Yucca Mountain may be a good place to establish as a repository.

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