/By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer/
WASHINGTON - The planned nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada
won't be built unless the Energy Department is confident of the
supporting science after investigating e-mails that showed workers
discussing fabricating data, an official said Tuesday.
Under angry questioning from Nevada lawmakers, deputy director Theodore
Garrish said the department was preparing to apply for a license to run
the dump, but "we have not made a final decision yet as to when or
whether to file those documents, and some of that will be based on this
"I can assure you we will not go forward unless we can have the feeling
ourselves first that this repository will be safe," said Garrish.
Reassurances from Garrish and Charles Groat, the director of the U.S.
didn't satisfy the Nevadans. They have seized on the e-mails, written by
employees, as the latest reason to kill the dump planned for 90 miles
north of Las Vegas. Officials from Gov. Kenny Guinn on down expressed
outrage Tuesday during a House Government Reform subcommittee hearing.
"The fact that data may have been intentionally fabricated in service of
shoring up predetermined and politically driven conclusions calls into
question the very legitimacy of this entire program," Guinn said.
The Energy Department disclosed March 16 that e-mails written between
1998 and 2000, principally by two USGS scientists, suggested the workers
might have falsified documents. Porter's committee has released redacted
versions of dozens of the e-mails that show workers discussing
concocting facts and keeping two sets of figures, one for themselves and
one to show quality assurance officers.
On the Net:
Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management: http://www.ymp.gov
Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects: http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste
Nuclear Regulatory Commission: http://www.nrc.gov