Location

University of Nevada Las Vegas, Barrick Museum

Start Date

11-4-2008 1:30 PM

End Date

11-4-2008 2:00 PM

Description

Abstract:

The United States currently faces a nuclear waste crisis. According to a 2002 report by former Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, “We have a staggering amount of radioactive waste in this country.”1 The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that by 2035 the U.S. will have approximately 115,000 metric tons of high-level nuclear waste, which exceeds the capacity of the proposed federal storage site at Yucca Mountain.2 Deciding where and how to store nuclear waste is a significant nuclear, environmental, and health policy issue. The decisions that we make about nuclear waste siting greatly impact the future of nuclear technologies and the communities and environments surrounding the sites.

This research project attempts to understand the rhetorical nature of the historical and contemporary controversy over nuclear waste siting in the U.S. through the collection and rhetorical analysis of oral histories from people involved in high-level nuclear waste siting decisions. A crucial part of studying the Atomic West is archiving stories, documents, and events that constitute the relationship between nuclear technologies and the West. 3 However, strikingly absent in this growing body of scholarship are oral histories that specifically address nuclear waste siting decisions from a variety of perspectives. This project will archive and analyze the stories of people involved in the controversies over high-level nuclear waste in the American West including: (1) the controversy over the proposal to permanently store high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (1982-present); and (2) the Private Fuel Storage/Skull Valley Goshute private proposal to temporarily store high-level nuclear waste on the Skull Valley Reservation (1987-present). This research project significantly contributes to my overall research trajectory of examining the rhetoric of nuclear waste siting decisions. Most significantly, this research will be incorporated into a scholarly book manuscript that I am in the process of writing.

Keywords

American West; Great Basin; Nucelar waste; Oral history; Radioactive waste; Skull Valley Reservation; Yucca Mountain

Disciplines

American Politics | Civic and Community Engagement | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Law | Environmental Monitoring | Environmental Sciences | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies | Regional Sociology | Sustainability

Language

English

Comments

4 pages & Biography

DEndres_Bio.pdf (6 kB)
Biography

 
Apr 11th, 1:30 PM Apr 11th, 2:00 PM

Nuclear technologies in the Great Basin oral history project

University of Nevada Las Vegas, Barrick Museum

Abstract:

The United States currently faces a nuclear waste crisis. According to a 2002 report by former Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, “We have a staggering amount of radioactive waste in this country.”1 The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that by 2035 the U.S. will have approximately 115,000 metric tons of high-level nuclear waste, which exceeds the capacity of the proposed federal storage site at Yucca Mountain.2 Deciding where and how to store nuclear waste is a significant nuclear, environmental, and health policy issue. The decisions that we make about nuclear waste siting greatly impact the future of nuclear technologies and the communities and environments surrounding the sites.

This research project attempts to understand the rhetorical nature of the historical and contemporary controversy over nuclear waste siting in the U.S. through the collection and rhetorical analysis of oral histories from people involved in high-level nuclear waste siting decisions. A crucial part of studying the Atomic West is archiving stories, documents, and events that constitute the relationship between nuclear technologies and the West. 3 However, strikingly absent in this growing body of scholarship are oral histories that specifically address nuclear waste siting decisions from a variety of perspectives. This project will archive and analyze the stories of people involved in the controversies over high-level nuclear waste in the American West including: (1) the controversy over the proposal to permanently store high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (1982-present); and (2) the Private Fuel Storage/Skull Valley Goshute private proposal to temporarily store high-level nuclear waste on the Skull Valley Reservation (1987-present). This research project significantly contributes to my overall research trajectory of examining the rhetoric of nuclear waste siting decisions. Most significantly, this research will be incorporated into a scholarly book manuscript that I am in the process of writing.