Welch’s stance on nuclear waste is spineless

BRATTLEBORO — In his statements in Brattleboro on April 7 and in his letter to me, Representative Peter Welch has not clearly thought through his position on the nuclear-waste issue.

While none of us are overjoyed with leaving radioactive waste at the Vermont Yankee reactor, that does not translate to forcing the waste on an unwilling state like Nevada.

Representative Welch supports the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017, which would reopen federal proceedings over the proposed Yucca Mountain repository.

Welch's position, the same as the nuclear industry's, is that the federal government “should live up to its obligations.” He is referring to the 1987 political, not scientific, decision by Congress to force Nevada to accept the nation's nuclear waste.

When asked how Vermonters would feel if all the nation's waste were forced on our state, he sidesteps the matter. When asked if he feels the waste at Vermont Yankee is unsafe at present, he sidesteps the matter.

I was thoroughly disappointed in his responses.

A better position on the nuclear-waste issue would be for the federal government to seek a willing partner for a safe disposal solution, as President Obama's commission proposed.

Our state has taken a leadership position on many issues. We need Representative Welch to have more spine and not simply parrot the nuclear industry's line.

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