THE NEVADA PROTECTION FUND
NATIONAL PUBLIC INFORMATION INITIATIVE
The many serious technical deficiencies of the Yucca Mountain site and DOE's flawed approach to geologic disposal notwithstanding, the most potentially explosive aspect of the federal program is the reality that tens of thousands of shipments of deadly spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste will, IF Yucca Mountain is permitted to go forward, travel the nation's highways and railroads through 43 states and thousands of communities, day after day for upwards of 40 years. A severe transportation accident or successful terrorist attack in an urban area could release radioactive materials to the environment, causing hundreds of latent cancer fatalities and costing hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars for cleanup and compensation.
DOE and its allies in Congress have long recognized that nuclear waste transportation is the Achilles' heel of the Yucca Mountain program. Once states and communities along potential shipping routes become aware of the unprecedented volumes of waste to be shipped, the duration of the required shipping campaign, and the potential adverse consequences of accidents and terrorist incidents, opposition to the entire effort can be expected to increase and become extremely vocal throughout the country.
Previous work by the State of Nevada indicates that there is an as yet untapped groundswell of opposition to this potentially dangerous nuclear waste shipping campaign in affected cities and communities around the country. DOE and the commercial nuclear industry have gone to great lengths to downplay and even hide the transportation aspects of the repository program and to obscure the dangers and risks faced by thousands of communities that will be directly impacted by spent fuel and high-level waste shipments. Such states and communities can and should be natural allies to Nevada once they are made aware of the federal government's plans to turn their highways and rail lines into nuclear waste shipping corridors. Framing and carrying the message about transportation risks and impacts to targeted states, cities, and communities and raising public awareness about the dangers of spent fuel and high-level waste transportation are critical elements of the Public Information Initiative.
The national information and awareness campaign will be implemented through a coordinated and integrated set of activities, all aimed at raising awareness of spent fuel and high-level waste risks and impacts in targeted states and communities and at stimulating and increasing public and official opposition to such shipments.
Governor's Nevada Protection Fund - Chronology