Aug 11 2004

Senator John Kerry’s Plan Makes South Carolina Long-Term Storage Site for Nuclear Waste

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said he was very disappointed with fellow Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) saying he opposed opening Yucca Mountain as the long-term repository for nuclear waste. Kerry’s position puts him at odds with the entire South Carolina delegation which voted unanimously in 2002 to open Yucca Mountain. South Carolina is home to an estimated 37 million gallons of liquid waste at Savannah River Site and also growing stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel stored at commercial nuclear power plants in the state. The nuclear waste is slated to be moved from South Carolina and sent to Yucca Mountain for long-term storage. “John Kerry wants to abandon Yucca Mountain and store millions of gallons of nuclear waste in South Carolina,” said Graham. “His position is simply unacceptable. “Yucca Mountain was chosen as a national repository for nuclear waste over twenty years ago and Congress ratified the decision in 2002,” said Graham. “Kerry’s opposition to opening Yucca Mountain will leave South Carolina with no outlet for thousands and thousands of tons of nuclear waste. “From an environmental and national security perspective, it is imperative we have a central repository to store our nuclear waste,” said Graham. “Outside experts and Congress have looked at this problem for years and we know Yucca Mountain, Nevada is the appropriate location. “John Kerry’s action would destroy over two decades of work on a national repository to provide secure, long-term storage of nuclear waste materials,” said Graham. “I hope all Republicans and Democrats in South Carolina will condemn this action and let Senator Kerry know we don’t agree with his position. We don’t appreciate him trying to pull the rug out from under us.” ######