The struggle between the Department of Energy and the state has lasted more than 2 decades, but face-to-face confrontations have been rare. What brought the DOE and state officials to this hearing room today was the recent disclosure of e-mails, written by scientists from the U-S Geological Survey...that indicating they were falsifying some of their work.
Specifically, the documents now in question concern climate at Yucca Mountain and the movement of groundwater through the site. Nevada officials say that's a key issue. If the nuclear respository there ever opens, it will store tons of highly radioactive waste for thousands of years. Water could erode the storage casks, leaking radioactivity into the environment. Under tough questioning today, Ted Garrish, the Energy Department's top official on the Yucca Mountain Project said the DOE was concerned about the apparent falsification, and determined to set the record straight.
Government officials declined once again to share some information with the panel, citing the ongoing investigation.
Nevada officials argue work should stop until that investigation is complete. Nevada Congresswman Shelly Berkley says the project should be stopped until the investigation is complete, and says the Department of Energy should be ashamed.