Wednesday, September 05, 2001
Setting it straight on waste, casks
Two recent letters to the editor have quoted information that is not true. One of the letters claims that the French nations' rivers and air are clean and they know how to handle the high level nuclear waste. This information is totally bogus.
This was demonstrated recently when a French prosecutor filed charges against French government officials for their lack of concern for the health of the French people. They have been charged with failing to act in a credible manner after the Russian nuclear power plant had a melt down.
All other nations in Europe took action to quarantine the milk supply due to the concern about thyroid cancer. There is a significant increase in thyroid cancer in France. The French government in defense of this action claimed the suit was frivolous because the increase was occurring before the meltdown.
The French have more nuclear plants than any other country in Europe. Exposure to radiation is known to be a cause of thyroid cancer. The French government may have a low level radiation standard that may be too high or they have been silent about radiation leaks from either the plants and/or the, transportation of the high level nuclear waste material.
The author states that the French know how to handle the waste. The French for years have been dumping the reprocessed highly radioactive waste into the ocean. Countries in Europe have decried this reckless action.
The other letter extols the detailed testing of the transportation casks that will be used to transport the high level nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain. The author quotes the DOE standard dribble. The cask that was dropped on spikes, rammed by a locomotive, and exposed to military weapons is not the cask that will be used to transport the high level nuclear waste.
The cask tested is too heavy to be transported on the railroads or highways. DOE didn't lie, but like Clinton, used a play on words to distort the truth.
I wish the authors of the letters would read the reports, attend the hearings and get the information first hand rather than through the "hired mouthpiece" of the DOE.
Proponents of deep geological storage cite the work of the Finns and Swedes. Their leaders unlike the leaders of this country have chosen sites that are located in solid granite. We have a very stable site that is composed of the most stable granite in the world but the leaders of this country have chosen a sieve that DOE is trying to "patch" to make it safe.
Transportation issues in Sweden, Finland and France are far less of a hazard because the travel routes are very short.
I hope the citizens of this country aren't going to be duped by the strong nuclear power industry whose only goal is near term profits at the expense of future generations