Las Vegas City Life

NBC comes to aid of anti-nuke forces

April 8, 1999

Nevada opponents of the federal plan to store high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain have long sought support across the country by keying on the scenario of a train or truck carrying atomic refuse getting in an accident in one of the 43 states the waste would cross.

Now it would seem that anti-nuke Nevadans have an entire network on their side. This spring, NBC plans to broadcast a two-part miniseries, "Atomic Train," starring Rob Lowe. According to an NBC plot synopsis, a runaway train carrying armed nuclear weapons and nuclear waste suddenly careens out of control in the Rockies and races toward Denver.

"The impact of the subsequent crash could be catastrophic in this spectacular production," NBC says "Compelling human stories unfold as lives are lost and simple human bravery is displayed by scores of people, including John Seger (Lowe), an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board."

Apparently Lowe, through a series of brave acts and heroic measures, is able to save some lives just before the train crashes into the mountains, causing an "explosive fire."

"Time is against the brave volunteers who desperately attempt to diffuse the bombs before the fire reaches them. Tragically, a human error eventually causes the nuclear weapons to detonate."

Nevada's political leaders couldn't have dreamed up a better movie storyline to make their case against nuclear waste storage.

--Mel Parkinson