Nov. 18, 1998

Over 200 Environmental Organizations Demand that DOE
Follow the Law and Disqualify Yucca Mountain

Statement of Joan Claybrook
President, Public Citizen

Good morning. My name is Joan Claybrook, and I'm president of Public Citizen. For years the nuclear industry and the federal government have been pushing a dangerous and misguided plan to dump thousands of tons of highly radioactive waste in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. But the more the scientists find out about that site, the more we're convinced that this industry-driven scheme is fraught with extreme peril. That's why more than 200 environmental and consumer organizations now oppose the plan.

Today we are petitioning DOE to follow the law and disqualify the site because it cannot meet the environmental guidelines mandated under current law. It is now clear beyond a doubt that the Yucca Mountain site cannot protect the American people from nuclear waste.

We demand that DOE Secretary Richardson obey the law and abandon Yucca Mountain once and for all. This is an historic opportunity to prevent a catastrophic mistake. DOE must not attempt to bypass current law and department regulations for the sake of providing the nuclear industry with a convenient way out of its costly waste disposal problems.

If this flawed scheme goes through, generations of people who will live in the region surrounding Yucca Mountain over the coming decades and centuries will have to face the very real possibility that one day a lethal nuclear genie will be uncorked.