In their view ...

Published:

While a lot of news has been made in (northeast Ohio's) Mahoning Valley in recent weeks about the disposal of one kind of energy waste -- liquid from hydraulic fracture wells -- another potentially more troublesome waste has been accumulating for decades while congresses and administrations have dithered.

Civilian nuclear waste -- a problem that was once presumed to have a solution awaiting it deep within Nevada's Yucca Mountain -- continues to be warehoused at various sites in 35 states, Pennsylvania and Ohio among them.

Ohio has 1,120 metric tons of uranium in storage, Pennsylvania has 6,070 tons, according to the latest figures available from the Nuclear Energy Institute.

The federal government invested billions of dollars in constructing underground vaults at Yucca Mountain under a national plan that would have had the waste shipped there and encapsulated ... .

But the problems of safely storing nuclear waste do not go away, and there is a new effort in the Senate to find a safer alternative to the present system ... .

While any long-term solution will be decades in the making, it is time for Congress to act responsibly ... .

Congress recognized the need for a real solution to the dangers of accumulating nuclear waste from the production of weapons and nuclear energy when it passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 1982. Since then, utility customers in 36 states with nuclear power plants have paid more than $17 billion into the Nuclear Waste Fund for construction of a permanent national repository, and they have nothing to show for it but an expensive dry hole in the Nevada desert.

The (Youngstown) Vindicator

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