Reno Gazette-Journal


‘Energy park’ is just a storage facility

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Gene Humphrey's guest column ["Energy park would create thousands of jobs," April 10] unfairly criticizes former Sen. Richard Bryan for his opposition to making Southern Nevada a nuclear waste storage and disposal site. As someone who has been closely involved with nuclear waste issue in Nevada for decades, I find Mr. Humphrey’s assertions troubling.

What Mr. Humphrey doesn't acknowledge is that this so-called "energy park" idea requires the importation of thousands of tons of dangerous spent nuclear fuel and highly radioactive wastes into Southern Nevada in the distant hope that someday it might be economically and technologically feasible to try to reprocess it. Once the waste is in Nevada, does anyone in his or her right mind think that the federal government or the nuclear industry is going to fork over money to do anything further with it?

The fact that Mr. Humphrey and other proponents call their idea an "energy park" is in itself revealing. It’s a spent-fuel and high-level radioactive waste storage and reprocessing facility. If it’s such a good thing for Nevada, why try to disguise it? As Sen. Bryan said in his column, "a rose by any other name.."

Joe Strolin

• The writer is former planning division administrator at the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects.