County board says no
Supervisors vote against nuclear waste site in Waupaca County
By Robert Cloud
The Waupaca County Board passed a resolution opposed to the siting of a nuclear waste repository in Waupaca County.
Supervisors voted 27-0 in favor of a resolution opposing any exploration for high-level nuclear waste siting in Waupaca County.
In a 1983 statewide referendum, 89% of Wisconsinites voted against having a nuclear waste site located in the state.
The U.S. Department of Energy had identified Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential nuclear waste site in the 1980s.
Under the DOE’s plan, radioactive waste from nuclear power plants would be stored in tunnels deep underground.
Congress approved the Yucca Mountain project in 2002, but due to strong opposition in Nevada, Congress ended federal funding for the site in 2011.
Both the Trump and Biden administrations have opposed proceeding with the Yucca Mountain waste site.
Nuclear power plants are currently storing their radioactive waste on site in pools and steel and concrete casks.
In the 1980s, the DOE also considered the Wolf River Batholith as a second possible site.
The Wolf River Batholith is a 1,000-square-mile “geological formation of quartz, granite and other rock types which lies under an approximately 1,000 square mile area that includes over seven counties, including Langlade, Shawano, Waupaca, Menominee, Portage, Marathon and Oconto counties, and the lands of three tribes, the Stockbridge-Munsee, the Menominee and the Ho-Chunk Nations,” according to the county board resolution.
In 1983, Wisconsin enacted a moratorium on the development of new nuclear power plants until a federal facility was built that could store the radioactive waste.
In 2016, Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill lifting the moratorium.
“Wisconsin has enacted statutes and administrative regulations that form the exploration and approval process for long term nuclear waste repository siting throughout the state,” the resolution states.
“The Waupaca County Board of Supervisors through its Solid Waste Management Board opposes any exploration for nuclear waste siting within Waupaca County,” the resolution declares.
The Solid Waste Management Board will take the lead in educating the public and be actively involved in any public hearings regarding the long-term storage of nuclear waste in the county.