The Nevada Appeal

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Recycling nuclear waste would help

Monday, September 17, 2001

Former Democratic President Bill Clinton spoke recently in Las Vegas and suggested an alternative to burying nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. Instead, bury it in the Republican president's home state of Texas. Ah, politics. Why did the Rhodes Scholar not mention the waste can be neutralized? There's no profit in it - the nuclear waste industry can ask the government for millions to devise a casket or container or $10 million to test the soil at Yucca.

I mentioned neutralizing the waste to a prominent lawyer here and he told me it was a myth. I called the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., and they faxed me information that they "recycle/reprocess spent fuel leading to a slightly enriched uranium, plutonium (recycled as MOX fuel) and high level waste (fisson products and minor actinides) which are vitrified. All this does limit the volume and the radiotoxicity of the waste. It does not eliminate the need for long-term management of some waste."

I also called the Nuclear Waste project office here in Carson and was told, "It is economically feasible in France but not economically feasible here." Are we naive?

I also called Lou deBottari whose letter was in Wednesday's letters to the editor - knowledgeable man - also gave me Web site Fuel Cell 2000.

Get off your duff. Write the President ("write" what is that a foreign word?),The White House, Washington, DC 20515. Call Senator Reid's office here (882-7343), the Nuclear Waste Project Office (6873744) and voice your "neutralize, don't bury" Who would go to Las Vegas with 84 tons of radioactive waste buried at Yucca? Nevada's gambling taxes would go kaput and Nevada's infrastructure along with it.

Do something, write, call, make yourself heard. It only takes one person to change the course.

ISABEL R. YOUNG
Carson City