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Saturday, November 1

Yucca Mountain - Nevada's Nuclear Future

Nevada & Nuclear Energy. Yucca Mountain. Both for over 20 years have been a volatile subject amongst Nevadans. I'm not a native Nevadan, but have lived here pretty much since 1986 except for a 4 year leave of absence to Mississippi. I've always been avidly against Yucca Mountain. To me, it always seemed like since we are still one of a few rare states with a vast "wasteland to you" but "desert to us", it seemed like we were just the "fall guys" for all the rest of the nation's radioactive crap and garbage and I DIDN'T LIKE IT!

My other problem with storing massive amounts of nuclear waste in Nevada deep inside one of our mountains was the fact that Nevada is #3 in the nation for DAILY MEASURABLE SEISMIC ACTIVITY! Yep, we have at least many earthquakes in Nevada each day...maybe not all of them noticeable, but they are there. After living in the Northwest of Reno during the last cluster of earthquakes (THAT WERE FREAKY) for a few months...Yucca Mountain certainly came back into my mind.

However, since I've been so heavily involved in politics this last year, I've actually spoken to a few really knowledgeable people in regard to Yucca Mountain, storage of nuclear waste in Nevada, and the possibility of reprocessing plants that can turn this waste into reusable energy.

I'm not a "global warming", "let's all go green" type AT ALL! BUT, I am ALL FOR ENDING our dependence on foreign terrorist countries supplying our nation with the better part of our energy. I'm all for DRILL HERE DRILL NOW...but there needs to be more, and IF...and ONLY IF...nuclear is SAFE...then it might be another possibility to rid ourselves from the likes of Hugo Chavez, the Middle East, and others we depend so heavily upon that like to point guns at our heads.

I don't usually change my mind when I'm set in a particular way, but I'm beginning to see things a little differently now after talking to some folks that really understand Yucca Mountain and its possibilities. It appears to me now maybe that Yucca Mountain is more safe than our gypsum mines, gold and silver mines for sure...my jury is still out, but I'm starting to lean pro-Yucca.

The other thing that I've been thinking about is that nutcase Harry Reid that is YOUR leader in Congress...what a douche bag he is! In the past, I've always given Harry Reid credit for ONLY ONE THING and that was his fight against Yucca Mountain...given his track record on how he handles everything ELSE he was HIRED BY US to do...gives me more pause for thought in regard to Nevada's possibility to be at the forefront of nuclear exploration, storage, and reprocessing.

It has also been brought to my attention, that if Nevada pulls this off, the "reprocessing capability" of a SMALL amount of nuclear waste stored at Yucca Mountain could produce enough energy to sustain Nevada for 200 years. Of course, if we're all wrong...we'll have lots of energy, we'll just GLOW IN THE DARK...therefore a good post for Halloween Night :)

Another thing that REALLY BOTHERS me is a personal and dear friend that is a citizen of USA but came from Switzerland... He was the butt at a bad end of a stick during a nuclear disaster in his country (As result of another country and carried by wind), that has almost cost him his life several times. I'm not sure where he stands on nuclear energy today...technology has come so far. Possibly I don't have a problem with storage...but messing with it, reprocessing it, a few miles away from my home...I'm still not sure, but I SURE AM wanting to learn MORE. I'm open to learning all I can before it ever comes to a vote...this is a subject so far above most of our normal heads that it will take some research and convincing to make me NOT WORRY A LOT!

At November's monthly meeting of my club "Sparks Republican Women", Gary Duarte will be our guest speaker. Ironically lately when I did a precinct walk for McCain, I got randomly paired up with him to do the walk. We were together for a while and he explained even a lot more about this nuclear option that Nevada has. He explained the casks that the "waste" is stored in compared to an ANVIL! Not much can destroy an anvil, so possibly we should take a second look at it all at least. I'm willing. In this horrible economy, these possibilities would certainly bring a lot of jobs to Nevada and put our state at the forefront of budding technology.

I encourage you all to come if you like and hear him speak. You can e-mail me at the top left sidebar of this blog if you are interested in coming to hear him speak. Following is the press release that won't be published until November 7th, 2008... AND...I SO...SOOOOO WANT ALL OF YOU to comment at the end. Talking about Yucca Mountain and nuclear energy possibilities in our desert is like talking about sex to strangers here in Nevada. I run across as many people for it as I run across against it (IF IT EVER GETS BROUGHT UP?), AND I REALLY WANT TO KNOW what all of you think. It's of great importance to me whether you live in Nevada or not. I have readers that come from many states and varied countries even...some with nuclear things right in their own back yards. I'm ASKING FOR COMMENTS...this is a "bit over my head" and I want to make an informed decision :)

US Nuclear Energy 501 (c)(3) Foundation

PO Box 2867 Sparks, NV 89432

775 224-2089

For Immediate Release Contact:

Gary J. Duarte, Director

November 7, 2008

“Bringing Science to Citizens”

Sparks Republican Woman

Gary J. Duarte, Director, US Nuclear Energy Foundation will address the Sparks Republican Women, Wednesday November 12th 6:00 PM at the Resort at Red Hawk for their monthly meeting.

Gary Duarte is a layman with a mission. He grew up in Maine playing ice hockey, music in a local band and running a printing company. He moved to Nevada in 1984. Duarte's knowledge of nuclear energy is that of an average citizen not a scientist, yet he recalls following the Maine Yankee Nuclear Power plant go online in 1972 and notes that it successfully produced energy for New England for 25 years. In 2005 following a discussion with brother-in-law, Dr. Bruce P. Johnson, retired UNR Electrical Engineering Professor, he chose to focus on nuclear energy an industry that is highly misunderstood by “Joe Citizen” and both were inspired by a growing population of grandchildren.

In the summer of 1976 Ford & Carter administrations reviewed the “reprocessing science”. India tested its first nuclear bomb using fuel reprocessed from a “civilian” nuclear reactor. Ford delayed reprocessing during his administration. Carter said that reprocessing must be prohibited in order to stop proliferation. This combination and at that time being cost prohibitive, Carter passed legislation preventing the reprocessing science to continue. This legislation was reversed in 1981 by President Reagan. Science once again is re-visiting this technology. France, Britain and Japan have been reprocessing spent fuel for many years.

Regardless of our reprocessing advancements even with major reductions in volume . . . there will always be a need for deep geologic radioactive waste permanent storage. Yucca Mountain Nevada has been studied over 25 years, deemed “safe” by the “majority of scientific analysis”, accepted and voted into law by the U.S. Congress as the best site for the United States. The anti-Yucca movement does not represent the scientific majority but rather political misrepresentation and adverse science purchased from China, Japan and Britain, not the U.S.

Both nuclear power plant construction and reprocessing technology remain costly because their design safety features far exceed those of any other form of energy production yet nuclear still remains very competitive with “clean” gas, and coal technologies. Duarte’s presentation will overview some of these factors.

UPDATE: I sent out a mass e-mail to many people of all political persuasions and walks of life, and LOCATIONS to ask them their true opinion of this issue. Most chose to e-mail their responses to me rather than comment here. However, their responses were so inspiring (even the ones from OUT OF STATE) that I feel compelled to share them without exposing their identity since they chose e-mail... I will publish them as Anonymous. I LOVE my friends & family that are willing to share their brains with me...even those I haven't spoken to in months :)