Opinion

Commentary: Obama's inaction on Yucca Mountain

As we have seen with his handling of some bailout funds and with the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, President Obama has not allowed his presidency to become a prisoner of his campaign.

At least not entirely.

But there is at least one exception, where sticking by his campaign promise is stifling economic and energy progress in this and 38 other states.

Yucca Mountain.

Candidate Obama gave nuclear power only an "on second thought" consideration, and that tepid support was chilled by his campaign pledge to end the Yucca Mountain project.

Maybe Yucca Mountain isn't the perfect solution to store nuclear wastes from Hanford, other Department of Energy sites and the nation's commercial nuclear power plants, including Energy Northwest's reactor in north Richland.

But it doesn't have to be perfect, only safe. Billions of public dollars have been spent on scientific research aimed at answering the safety question.

By the time the licensing process is completed, the nuclear repository likely will be the most thoroughly studied engineering project in history.

Absent any valid technical reasons to stop it, progress on the national repository ought to continue without political interference.

So why is Yucca Mountain's completion as a nuclear repository off the table as a site for storing nuclear waste?

To read the complete editorial, visit The Tri-City Herald.

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