There is a looming battle on the horizon over a Monitored Retrieval Storage (MRS) system for spent nuclear fuel rods, over those that support it and those that do not. I remember this discussion very clearly in the early 2000s and how divided the state became on this issue. There are still very strong unresolved feelings on this issue and I am sure they will come out in the coming months.
Living in Riverton and growing up with the uranium mines in the nearby Gas Hills and seeing the wonderful growth and positive things that came out of that industry. We then saw the hardships when families lost their jobs when those mines closed. We had a similar event with the iron mine on South Pass, and so boom and bust is nothing new to this area. Our leaders talk about strengthening and diversifying our economy but to this point I have not seen a lot of success.
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An economic opportunity may be coming in the form of a billion dollar a year (reported) MRS system, not a low level nuclear waste site like Yucca Flats. There is a big difference. I am sure the same old tired arguments will come out of the woodwork as they did in 2001. We don’t want a dumpsite in WY. Leaking radiation will cause the antelope to glow. MRS is too dangerous and scary to risk, etc., etc. It won’t be “temporary” but a long term, large revenue stream for Wyoming.
I think that FDR said it best. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes….”
I for one am still mad at Governor Mike Sullivan for taking that decision away from the citizens of Wyoming the first time around. I hope our current leaders have more courage and vision. Please put me down as a strong supporter for a long positive future with a clean, safe MRS.