Senators claim public opposes nuke transport


BY GEOFF DORNAN
Appeal Capitol Bureau Chief
Carson City, Nevada
Wednesday, March 11, 1998

WASHINGTON - Nevada's two Democratic senators say a recent survey confirms what they have said for years, once people are informed of legislation to transport tons of nuclear waste on America's highways, they strongly oppose it.

"No matter what state they're from, Americans recognize this is a bad idea," said Richard Bryan.

"It's no longer a question of not wanting it in Nevada's backyard, but rather not wanting it traveling across the nation's back yard," said Harry Reid.

In the poll conducted by Decision Research for the University of Maryland, people from all 48 continental states were asked their opinion of the proposal to transport nuclear waste to Nevada. Two-thirds of them said they oppose plans to ship nuclear waste to Nevada for interim storage before a permanent facility is built. And nearly 82 percent made it clear they don't want to live near a radioactive waste transportation route.
The survey was released the day after Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott announced that the bill creating an interim storage facility on the Nevada Test Site will be put on a fast track through the Senate.

"As a result, it is more important than ever that all Americans learn about this proposal and how it could affect their states and their communities," said Bryan.

Reid said the survey results highlight the importance of the efforts he and Bryan have made to visit cities along the transportation routes and inform them of the dangers they face.

They have been in St. Louis and Denver talking to local officials and have promised to take their campaign to other cities in the nation as well.

Reid said they are facing "the fact that the nuclear waste industry has a stack of blank checks ready and waiting in a desperate attempt to buy swift passage of this bill."

The two Senators have also vowed to continue their efforts to block the measure. They have done so twice already by ensuring enough votes to sustain a Presidential veto of the legislation and a veto promised by President Clinton.