I applaud the Post-Gazette editorial "NIMBY Rules: The Yucca Nuclear Waste Decision Is Disappointing" (March 12).
The nation must continue to support the development of a geological repository for disposal of radioactive waste. Geological disposal means placing the wastes hundreds of feet underground and far from the biosphere.
The U.S. Department of Energy has investigated the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site as a repository, developed a design for the proposed repository and recently submitted an application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to open Yucca Mountain for its intended purpose.
The NRC is following a well-defined legislative process to evaluate the safety of the proposed Yucca Mountain site to meet both the scientific requirements for evaluating the site and the institutional requirements.
Expeditious processing of the Yucca Mountain license application should continue to proceed in an open, technically sound manner. Government administrations are transitory and just a moment in time compared to the time horizons of a geological repository.
The NRC now has several years to review the license application and determine whether the Department of Energy has made an adequate case for the safety of Yucca Mountain as a repository. I believe that the NRC will make this determination fairly and only after reviewing the scientific support of the application thoroughly.
LARRY R. FOULKE
Director of Nuclear Programs
University of Pittsburgh