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Letter: West Valley nuclear waste must be stored at safer site

West Valley nuclear waste must be stored at safer site

The cleanup of West Valley Nuclear Waste Site is not a complicated matter of what to do with the nuclear waste, it is a matter of when and where to store it.

West Valley is not an appropriate place to store nuclear waste. It is located on unstable glacial till adjacent to streams that drain into the Great Lakes where millions of people get their drinking water. There have already been glacial till slides from unstable soils at West Valley.

The complication of global warming and future severe storms could cause additional slides, resulting in nuclear waste leaks into the Great Lakes.

Some of these isotopes will be active for a million years and nobody really knows the long-term effect on exposure to humans. The only thing that makes sense for this site is to dig up and secure the waste at an appropriate nuclear storage facility.

Our country is currently experiencing an economic growth period, so money is available now for cleanup. Who knows if monies will be available in the future. If this site is not cleaned up now, the expertise on how to clean up and store this type of waste might also might not be available in the future.

I would ask the Department of Energy to collaborate with the Canadian government in sharing resources for cleanup around all the Great Lakes, including West Valley, as leakage into any of the Great Lakes affects Canada and the United States.

If we do not act now, future generations of children will be asking: “Why did they leave this mess for us? What were they thinking?”

Jay Wopperer


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