The Nevada Appeal

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Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Leave waste in its place for safety

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham has turned a repository into a national security issue.

The American people aren't stupid. They know that you don't protect used uranium and plutonium by removing them from their present safe storage.

Those who would argue that fresh nuclear fuel is being shipped all the time without incident, and, therefore, that spent fuel would also be shipped without incident aren't thinking clearly. Fresh fuel is shipped once a week to any one of over 100 nuclear reactors spread out all over this country. On the other hand, 6 to 7 canisters of spent fuel per day are due to go to one single location. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this is an enormous security risk.

If national security is really a chief concern, the very best guarantee that terrorists won't get their hands on this potential mass-destructing material is to leave it where it is.

RON BOURGOIN
Rocky Mount, N.C.