Nevada: Feds Should Restudy Seismic Risk at Nuclear Dump Site in Wake of Ridgecrest Earthquakes

The proposed nuclear waste dump site of Yucca Mountain is seen in this file photo from February 7, 2002. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

The proposed nuclear waste dump site of Yucca Mountain is seen in this file photo from February 7, 2002. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Nevada’s governor and congressional delegation are pointing to earthquakes this month in the California desert and calling for the U.S. Energy Department look again at seismic risks of burying the nation’s most radioactive nuclear waste at a site in the Mojave Desert.

In a opinions by the state’s top earthquake experts: James Faults at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and Graham Kent at the seismological laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno.

They said scientific tools developed since Yucca Mountain was studied in the 1980s and 1990s could provide enhanced satellite imaging of desert surface features; new mapping of faults and seismic hazards; better charts of the age and frequency of past earthquakes; and help create models for the effects of quakes close and far from Yucca Mountain.

“The Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, which began July 4 and has yet to subside, clearly highlights the importance of such studies,” Faults and Kent said.

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