Photo By Dennis Myers U.S. Sen. Harry Reid accepts a cake in honor of his 64th birthday from the legionnaires at Reno’s American Legion Hall last week.

No nuke worries for Reid
Nuclear waste will never be stored at Yucca Mountain in Nevada’s Nye County, claimed U.S. Sen. Harry Reid at a Reno American Legion hall talk last week. Reid’s comment came in response to a question from a legion member. Nevada’s ranking senator repeated the assertion to students at Reno High School.

The Bush administration has endorsed and Congress has approved a proposed dump for high-level nuclear wastes at the mountain, located just east of Beatty. The state of Nevada is engaged in court action to stop the dump.

Reid said that since Sept. 11, 2001, public awareness of the dangers of terrorism has raised public resistance to nuclear-waste transport to such a high level that local populations would not permit Yucca-bound shipments through their communities across the United States. Both rail and truck shipments are planned. Most of the truck shipments would travel along Interstate 70 or Interstate 80, principal east/west arteries across the nation.

That prompted the legion member to ask what should then be done with the waste. Reid replied that the waste can continue to be stored on site at nuclear-power plants in dry storage casks, which were designed to last a century. “In a hundred years, we may have found other things to do with the waste. …” Reid said. “With terrorism as it is, we should leave it as it is.”

Reid also said the nuclear-power industry is being “disingenuous” in saying it’s better to have one national dump instead of 111 on-site dumps. Reid said opening a Yucca Mountain dump simply means there will be 112 active dumps, because the on-site facilities must still keep operating to accommodate the wastes that are “continuously” generated by the plants.

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Dennis Myers

Dennis Myers was the news editor of the Reno News & Review. He was a journalist for more than four decades. In 1987-88 he was chief deputy secretary of state of Nevada. He was coauthor of Uniquely...