Hundred Billion Dollar Fine suggested for Monticello Primary Containment booboo

To: "Office of Public Affairs/NRC" <>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Hundred Billion Dollar Fine suggested for Monticello Primary Containment booboo
Cc: Tim Steadham <>

To: "Office of Public Affairs/NRC" <>
From: Russell D. Hoffman (contact information shown below)
Date: July 16th, 2001
Re: Hundred Billion Dollar Fine suggested for Monticello Primary Containment booboo

To Whom It May Concern;

I am interested in being informed of whatever steps the NRC is taking regarding the Monticello incident (NRC #38130) which rendered their primary containment "inoperable" since construction about thirty years ago, due to 32 shipping bolts on 8 separate bellows (four each) not being removed after installation.  Further information about the incident that I know at this time is included below.  Since all of it was taken from the NRC event report, the Daily Plant Status report, and a conversation with the NRC bureau chief for the region, I assume it is a fairly accurate description of what is known so far.

My suggested fine, $100,000,000,000.00 is not out of line.  Many problems that occur in the nuclear industry are transient.  This one was permanent -- so permanent that it lasted longer than the NRC has been in existence (30 years versus "only" 26 years, when the NRC was born, along with it's twin nuclear promotion agency, the Department of (Nuclear Weaponry and Nuclear) Energy (known of course as the DOE or "Death of the Earth" squad) of a corrupt Atomic Energy Commission).

But I digress into history, where this problem started.  As I was saying, I would guess that most problems for which the NRC imposes large fines are because things happen which endanger the public safety, like a crane accident occurs which could easily have been prevented, or a spill, or a fire, or a failure to properly lubricate something, or whatever.   Other fines are probably assessed for problems such as installing a backup system incorrectly, doing shoddy repairs or failing to do maintenance repair work, or for not keeping proper records.

This doesn't really fit in any of those categories.  Every time I have ever spoken to anyone at the NRC or in the nuclear industry in America (or Britain, for that matter) about Chernobyl, I am told that our power plants are much safer "because ours have a containment dome".

Now, I've never actually believed this makes much difference, myself, for two reasons:  First, our containment domes are full of holes.  Holes for people and material to go through.  Holes for thick bundles of electrical cables.  Huge holes for vast quantities of coolant to go through.

As I said, full of holes.  Where the nuclear industry might compare their domes to a foot soldier's helmet, I would compare it to a cook's spaghetti strainer.

But besides that, there is another difference, which is that this lack of containment dome allowed the plant operators in Russia to pour sand and other materials directly onto the reactor in order to smother the flames and cool the reactor enough to stop melting down.

As you may know, bad as Chernobyl was, it could have been a lot worse.  But don't ask the pilots or crews who flew the missions that saved us about how much worse it could have been.  They're all dead from the exposures they got, and they knew at the time that they were doomed.

But again I digress.  My point is that the "primary containment" is NOT supposed to be inoperable, no matter how trivial the cause!  And once discovered, the licensee apparently waited as long as your codes permit (four hours), after 30 years of illegal operation, before beginning a shutdown procedure.

What's up with that?  I haven't looked at the regulation itself (it's number is in the event report so I suppose I could find it online somewhere, unless it's in ADAMS which is a nightmare) but apparently it doesn't even suggest that they should shut down as soon as possible, it only says they must shut down within four hours, and that's exactly, to the minute, what they did.  Every minute means more profits.

They must have said, "So what if the primary containment appears to be inoperable!  Damn the torpedoes, and all the people that live near us or would want to for 1000 years!  We make millions of dollars every hour this thing is cranking!  Keep it running!  Who needs a primary containment anyway?"

As you can see I don't think highly of a crew that would not immediately shut their reactor down upon discovering that their primary containment was currently inoperable.  Regardless of the wording of the regulations, the safe and prudent thing to do was obvious.  Isn't there a regulation that covers such a situation, as well?  Regardless of the speed limit, police officers can always cite a driver for driving that is "unsafe for the conditions".  I would think the NRC would have similar authority to impose sanctions for irresponsible behavior.

Do you have a way to fine them for each aspect of this transgression separately?  I understand the bellows manufacturer is out of business now (I think that's what the NRC bureau chief told me, although my notes are incomplete on the subject).

Then there is the company and the people that installed the part.  Will they be fined, if they are not the licensee but a subcontractor?  And then there are the inspectors who 30 years ago didn't notice these 32 bolts on eight huge bellows (four each).  Will they be reprimanded?  Do any of them now work for the NRC?

Will the NRC change the regulation to require an immediate shutdown if it's probable that the repair will take longer than the four hours that a shutdown is required in anyway?

Please keep me informed of the answers to these questions, such as where the investigation is currently at, what the possibility of a fine is, what the timetable for these decisions will be, and what that fine, if any, ultimately is.

Thank you in advance.


Russell D. Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

Attachment:  Letter to a Mr. Tim Steadham, (which is in response to the 21st letter this week from him, which explains the opening greeting), which discusses the Monticello incident.  Attached to it is a relevant article, as well, which I recommend you read.

Mr. Steadham,

Got your rant for the day.

Tomorrow, Mr. Steadham, I'll be busy.  I intend to be on the NRC's case to know exactly how dangerous the problem at Monticello was.  No matter how trivial the initiating event was, that apparently rendered the primary containment inoperable, it was that way for about 30 years.  What size fine the NRC decides is appropriate for that failure is of great interest to me.  I think it should be at least a hundred billion dollars.

The facts of the case include that another plant discovered the shipping bolts on their primary containment's bellows had not been removed.  Monticello has a different bellows, manufactured by a completely different company, but when alerted to the problem (that's a good thing) by the other nuke, a check of their's turned up that the 32 bolts on the eight separate bellows had also not been removed.

The big difference was that in the first case, the bolts were on one edge so the bellows would probably have worked well enough anyway.  In Monticello, the bolts were in a square in the middle of the bellows and they wouldn't have been able to open at all.  The only thing that was good was that some of the bolts on some of the bellows apparently might have been loosened a little.

So how bad was this?  Well, the loss of the "primary containment" is pretty serious, even though you brush it off as just one more "incident" (which in a way, I'd agree with you on.  It's just one more nail in nuclear's coffin -- lack of public trust in the industry will do it in, either before or certainly after a major accident).  If enough bolts were loose enough, then the loss of the primary containment was not quite total.  But at the moment it appears that for thirty years Monticello operated with a totally or nearly-totally inoperable primary containment.  If that doesn't scare you, Mr. Steadham, I'd check your pulse.

I personally think that might warrant the biggest fine in the 26-year history of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, although perhaps I'm not aware of other more serious and even longer-lasting transgressions.  So while you, Mr. Steadham, brush off this incident as meaningless because a meltdown without a primary containment did not occur, I see it as vastly more important than dissecting the mistakes in your trivial mathematical pursuits.

I working on an appropriate answer to your latest rant, but below is a start.  You're way behind I'm sure, but you should push the attached article ahead of the line and catch up with my earlier letter after you've read this relevant item, especially because you keep carrying on about the connection (or lack thereof, according to you) between nuclear power and nuclear weapons proliferation.  This meticulous article (shown below) makes the connection quite clear.  Not that you'll get it or anything, but others reading our "debates" probably will (I do not yet feel they qualify as "debates" in the classical sense of the term, where issues are discussed rationally).

So read this article, Mr. Steadham, and remember as you do so, that we both live in a country that has accepted "the Nuremberg human rights protocols".   So I think it is your duty to pay closer attention than you have been, to the history of the industry you support so blindly.  You're killing us, and we deserve a chance to tell you how and why, and that we want you to stop, and we will eventually find a way to MAKE you stop.  Right now though, it's time for you to stop your ranting to me, and start reading.  Learn some truth.

Responses of yours which I have not yet answered will be answered as time permits.  If I have taken some out of order, or even ignored some, that's life.  You sent 21 letters in less than a week.  Some you've retracted, some you've corrected, many you've mainly just repeated yourself.  I think I've handled the onslaught fairly despite any claims you seem to want to make to the contrary.

I expect you to permanently post every word we've written to each other, in order, and I will, if you do it properly, copy your html to my web site so we both have it "published".  But you act like I've censored you or something.  I've done nothing of the sort.  You aren't the only fish in the sea and I continue to deal with your shenanigans and absurdities as time permits.  You're the one who wrote me, who invited debate, and who has the new website lacking in depth.

I'm tired, Mr. Steadham.  I'm tired of you and I'm tired of the nuclear industry's experimentation on human subjects -- me, for instance, and members of my family, and friends.

Good day.


Russell D. Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA
(originally from CT, which has closed down its nukes already)



Nuclear murder

America’s Atomic War Against Its Citizens and Why
It’s Not Over Yet

by David Proctor

  “After 15 years of investigating, I have concluded
that the United States government’s atomic weapons
industry knowingly and recklessly exposed millions of
people to dangerous levels of radiation.

  “Nothing in our past compared to the official
deceit and lying that took place in order to protect
the nuclear industry. In the name of national
security, politicians and bureaucrats ran roughshod
over democracy and morality. Ultimately, the Cold
Warriors were willing to sacrifice their own people in
their zeal to beat the Russians.”

— Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall
from the foreword to Atomic Harvest: Hanford and the
Lethal Toll of America’s Nuclear Arsenal By Michael

  Since early June, newspapers in Australia and
Great Britain have published articles about
experiments conducted in the 1950s and 1960s
by U.S. scientists on the bodies of deceased and
stillborn babies.

  Documents declassified by the U.S. Department of
Energy show that scientists from the U.K. Atomic
Energy Authority worked with their American
counterparts to take the bodies of 6,000 infants from
hospitals in Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Hong
Kong, South America and the U.S., then ship them to
the United States for the nuclear experiments —
without permission from the parents.

  It was called Project Sunshine. Sunshine began in
1955 at the University of Chicago when Willard Libby,
later a Nobel Prize laureate for his research into
carbon dating, instructed colleagues to skirt the
law in their search for bodies.

  “Human samples are of prime importance, and if
anybody knows how to do a good job of body-snatching,
they will really be serving their country,” Libby is
quoted as saying.

  The reasoning: Nuclear tests released great
amounts of Strontium 90 into the atmosphere. Libby and
others connected with the American defense industry
wanted to know how much radiation was entering the
food supply. The bodies and body parts were cremated
and the ashes tested with a sophisticated Geiger

  Grotesque as Project Sunshine was, it fits the
pattern. Since 1945, high officials of the United
States government have maimed and killed hundreds of
thousands of their own people, first while they spent
$5.5 trillion to test and maintain nuclear weapons,
then as they spent billions to support and
under-regulate nuclear power plants. To cover their
actions, the officials — and those who succeeded them
— have for
decades lied to the public and perjured themselves
in court about the amount of radiation released and
its effect on the millions of people exposed to it.

  Now, that same government wants to transport
hundreds of tons of nuclear waste through 43 states,
including Idaho, on inadequate rail lines and highways
past 138 million people to be stored in containers
of unknown longevity for hundreds of thousands of
in geologically unstable formations in New Mexico and

  And once again, officials insist it will all be
perfectly safe.

  The government has known for at least 70 years
that nuclear energy — regardless of its form — is
deadly to the human body.

  The first publicized case of radiation injuries in
America was the radium-dial painters in the 1920s.
These women used radium paint to put the luminous
numbers on watch dials. Many wet their brushes with
their mouths to make the tiny points needed for such
fine work. When they began to die of cancer their
successful lawsuit against the watch company in 1928
made the dangers of radiation very public.

  The government also sponsored radiation experiments
on animals in the 1940s, as well as follow-up studies
of the Trinity test at Alamogordo, New Mexico, and the
bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all in 1945.

  Despite this knowledge, and America’s acceptance
of the Nuremberg human rights protocols, the Atomic
Energy Commission, a group appointed by the president
and obligated by law to protect the public, detonated
more than 300 aboveground nuclear weapons at the
Nevada Test Site and in the Pacific Ocean.

  The blasts totaled 138,600 kilotons of explosive
power, which Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov
estimated would kill as many as 2.5 million
people and American Nobel laureate Linus Pauling
calculated would cause 1 million seriously defective
children, another 1 million embryonic and neonatal
deaths, and create millions of hereditary defects.

  In 1969, Dr. Ernest Sternglass traced the dramatic
increases in infant deaths and childhood leukemia in
upstate New York to airborne radiation from the
nuclear tests. He estimated 375,000 American babies
had been killed by fallout radiation between 1951
and 1966. And that didn’t count the deaths caused by
the Soviet Union’s 715 tests.

  Dr. John Gofman found that even low doses of
radiation could cause cancer. In the early 1970s, when
Gofman and Dr. Art Tamplin refused to keep their
findings secret, they lost their research grants at
DOE’s Livermore National Laboratory.

  The government, of course, did not have this
information when it began aboveground testing. It did
know, however, that radiation was dangerous and was
being blown thousands of miles from the Pacific and
Nevada sites.

  AEC’s response was to lie about fallout readings,
falsify some reports and bury others so Americans and
Pacific islanders would accept the government’s
propaganda mantra that there was no danger.

  It wasn’t only civilians who were handed this line
of falsehoods. The Defense Department marched soldiers
within a few hundred yards of ground zero during
several atomic tests. When these “atomic veterans”
started getting cancer, their claims for benefits
were denied. Soldiers who obtained their service
records found no mention of their trip to the Nevada
Test Site. Only recently has Congress recognized their
sacrifice and authorized limited treatment for the
dying veterans.

  Cancer deaths spiked in southern Utah in the
mid-1950s. Diseases that had been nearly nonexistent
until then decimated whole families. The overwhelmed
undertaker in Cedar City, Utah, needed special
training in order to prepare the cancer-devastated

  Simultaneously, Nevada Test Site workers began to
develop the same types of illnesses and die at an
alarming rate. AEC again insisted the workers were
safe, that there was no connection between the cancers
and the fallout.

  But there was a connection, and AEC knew it.

  Government records, finally released after decades
of denial and secrecy, show that the entire country
was repeatedly dusted by fallout. Radioactive hot
were found as far away as Albany, New York. Public
health statistics showed hundreds of thousands of
American babies were killed by fallout between 1951
and 1966.

  Another study found SAT scores dropped in Utah
during the testing.

  The story of the uranium miners is as tragic as
any. During the 1940s and 1950s, thousands of poor,
uneducated men, most of whom were American Indians,
labored in mines in the Four Corners region to produce
uranium needed to manufacture plutonium for bombs and
atomic tests.

  Forced to work without even the most basic
ventilation system, the miners breathed uranium-laced
air, drank uranium-contaminated water and carried the
deadly dust home to their families. Thousands have
since died of lung cancer and other radiation-related
diseases. Thus far, Congress has approved no
compensation for them.
  The deadly rain of fallout stopped in 1963 but
only momentarily. Even after the United States and the
Soviet Union’s limited test-ban treaty, many of the
next 700 underground tests “vented,” the government’s
euphemism for explosions that drifted radiation
across the country.

  In order to conduct those tests and build its
nuclear stockpile, the government needed bomb
factories — huge installations that manufactured,
assembled and tested the deadly nuclear components.
These factories were located at Savannah River, South
Carolina; Fernald, Ohio; Rocky Flats, Colorado;
Pantex, Texas; Idaho National Engineering Laboratory;
Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Hanford, Washington.

  Again, the government played fast and loose with
the safety and health of both its employees and the
thousands of civilians who lived nearby.

  At Hanford, the infamous “Green Run” in December
1949, released 20,000 curies (a curie is a measure of
radioactivity) of xenon-133 and 7,780 curies of
iodine-131. The radioactive plume measured 200 by 40
miles and dropped high concentrations of fallout on
Tri-Cities. There was no public health warning and no
follow-up studies on the health of the residents. Over
the years, Hanford plastered the Columbia Valley
repeatedly. About 1 million curies, the largest
accumulation of atomic industrial pollution on record,
were dumped in the air, water and ground.

  Some lambs near Hanford were born without eyes,
mouths or legs. Some had two sets of sex organs,
others had none. Juanita Andrewjeski had three
miscarriages and kept a map of her neighborhood, one
of the closest farms to Hanford. On it were 35 crosses
for heart attacks and 32 circles for cancer. One girl
was born without eyes. Another couple had eight
miscarriages and adopted all their children. Two
children were born without hipbones. One farm wife
killed her baby and herself after her husband died of

  In 1974, Dr. Samuel Milham, a Washington State
Department of Health epidemiologist, noticed a 25
percent excess of cancers among Hanford nuclear
workers when compared with the rates among the state’s
non-nuclear workers.

  As it had done so many times before, AEC buried
Milham’s findings. The agency commissioned another
study from a company with extensive Hanford contracts.
When that study affirmed Milham’s work, it was buried,

  Some 600,000 people worked in the nuclear weapons
industry. Only last year did Congress approve lump
payments of $150,000 and lifetime care for those
approved. The Labor Department estimates 43,000
workers per year, and 28,000 survivors, will apply

  From 1952 to 1970, INEL (now known as INEEL)
workers dumped some 16 billion gallons of liquid
radioactive wastes into injection wells that fed
directly into the water table below. Radioactive
contamination has been found 7.5 miles away,
threatening the long-term viability of the huge Snake
River Plain Aquifer, the major underground water
source for 270,000 people and Idaho’s famous potatoes.

  There were also intentional iodine-131 releases in
1957 and 1963 that dosed the residents of the farming
communities west of INEL. Site officials waited for
the wind to blow away from Idaho Falls, where they
lived, to make the release. The people downwind were
not told of these incidents until years later.

  The taxpayers’ bill to clean up this ungodly mess
has already run into billions of dollars, and the
meter is still running. In the 1950s, nuclear energy
was billed as the answer to America’s energy
Today we know that billions of dollars have been
wasted in this attempt to produce electricity “too
cheap to meter.” The power plants, according to a
study done after Three Mile Island, were
under-engineered, poorly built, poorly staffed and
badly run.

  Now, as President Bush lobbies for more nuclear
plants, ratepayers and taxpayers are still on the hook
for the billions of dollars it will cost to
decommission the plants, clean up the sites and safely
store the contaminated building and fuel rods for
hundreds of thousands of years.

  Finally, let us not forget the ugly history of
medical experiments.

  Declassified documents show that government and
university doctors injected scores of prisoners,
mental patients, retarded adults and children and even
pregnant mothers with radioactive substances — nearly
always without full consent — sometimes just to see
what would happen.

The Next 500,000 Years

  Now, with this revolting 50-year record behind it,
the government wants us to believe it can safely move
military, commercial and foreign waste to gigantic
burial grounds near Las Vegas (Yucca Mountain) and
Carlsbad, N.M. (Waste Isolation Pilot Project or
WIPP). And protect it there for hundreds of thousands
of years.

  Yucca, which is still not built despite 20 years
of study and nearly $7 billion invested, is intended
to hold high-level nuclear reactor waste. WIPP, which
is open, was built to hold transuranic waste -
clothing, tools, sludge and dirt contaminated with
small amounts of plutonium. The thousands of shipments
that will be made to these repositories through 43
states, this “mobile Chernobyl,” are a nightmare of
potential accidents, economic catastrophe and
terrorism. The radioactive garbage will then be stored
in containers that haven’t been adequately tested and
placed for longer than the human race has recorded its
own history in underground caverns whose long-term
stability remains in doubt.

  As one engineer put it, “How would you like to
have to build something that had to be 99.99999
perfect — forever?”

  Perfect. That word doesn’t quite describe either
WIPP or Yucca. The WIPP salt caverns near Carlsbad,
N.M., are located 2,150 feet below the surface and
consist of a 112-acre underground area on which
taxpayers have spent $2.1 billion so far. In 30 to
35 years, when the space is filled, the price tag is
expected to be $9 billion. It will include an
elaborate marker system to warn people not to drill
into the salt for the next 500,000 years.

  But some scientists expect problems long before
that. DOE first discovered water seeping into the WIPP
excavations in 1983. The leaks finally became public
in 1987 when New Mexico scientists concluded the
salt formation contains much more water than DOE
anticipated. They warned that over time the brine
could corrode the waste drums and create a
“radioactive waste slurry” that could eventually reach
the surface.

  Inside WIPP, cracks have appeared in the ceilings
and floors of several large waste storage rooms, and
the ceiling has collapsed in three areas — the result
of natural room closure (salt movement) that is two to
three times faster than anticipated. In 1983, DOE
estimated it would take 25 years for the salt walls to
completely close in and lock the waste barrels into
solid salt rock. At the rate the rooms are closing, it
may take only 13 years.

  Another hazard is the known reserves of gas and
oil. There is even an existing oil and gas lease
beneath the WIPP site.

  Despite the warning signs, these resources could
invite intrusion during the long future the repository
must stay isolated.

  WIPP also has capacity problems. The repository is
expected to hold about 160,000 cubic meters of
transuranic waste. However, there are expected to be
443,000 to 592,000 cubic meters of waste that will
storage — roughly two-and-one-half to
three-and-one-half times WIPP’s capacity.

  Yucca Mountain, located about 80 miles from Las
Vegas, the fastest growing city in America, has been
studied for 22 years to the tune of nearly $7 billion
— paid by electric utility customers. There is still
no agreement on whether it is a suitable site or
not. The plan is to bury the waste 660 to 1,400 feet
below the surface in a 1,400-acre facility served by
100 miles of tunnels. By the time it’s finished, it
will cost about $53 billion. Utility ratepayers will
fork over $28 billion. The rest of the bill will be
handed to taxpayers. One of the most volatile issues
is the mountain’s geology. There are 33 known faults
near Yucca Mountain. About 600 seismic events have
occurred near the site in the last 20 years alone,
including a 5.6-magnitude earthquake in 1992.

  Meanwhile, 70,000 tons of highly radioactive spent
nuclear fuel rods are stored at 77 sites around the
country. The waste increases by 300 to 600 tons per
year, and those facilities are quickly running out of

  If Yucca ever is opened, it will be full in less
than 15 years.

  Twice in the 1960s, INEEL’s Pit 9, a subsurface
disposal area, was flooded by snowmelt runoff. First,
though, the waste has to get there. The Yucca shipping
campaign would be the largest nuclear materials
transport in history — some 80,000 shipments over 24
years. Accidents happen. The federal government
predicts 70 to 310 nuclear transportation accidents
over the next 75 years.

  From 1964 to 1990, 2,561 spent fuel containers
were shipped in the United States. If a repository
opens, there will be about that many shipments per

  An accident or terrorist act that opened a
high-level waste cask would be catastrophic. DOE
predicts a severe accident in a rural area would
contaminate 42 acres and cost $620 million. In
an urban area it would cost $2 billion. Dr. Marvin
Resnikoff, the nuclear physicist who was an expert
witness in the 1991 Andrus vs. U.S., testified that a
similar accident would cost $40 billion. Andrus vs.
U.S. was a case filed by Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus.
A judge ordered that Andrus not interfere with nuclear
waste shipments.

  The waste will be transported by rail (88 percent)
and truck (12 percent). Union Pacific is the largest
rail company in America and will handle most of the
work. Their track record is not encouraging.
Derailments and other problems have become an

  Even former Gov. Phil Batt, who allowed DOE to
bring more than 1,000 shipments of waste into Idaho
and store it on the promise it would be removed to
Yucca and WIPP, declared Union Pacific’s safety record
“unacceptable.” Utah-based Huntsman Chemical says
problems with Union Pacific have cost more than $8
million in lost business and increased shipping costs
since June 1997. The U.S. military stopped using Union
Pacific because of delays, and once the railroad
left a shipment of M-1 tanks unguarded.

  The Association of American Railroads has said
today’s rail lines — in Idaho and elsewhere — cannot
handle the weight of nuclear casks, the casks
themselves may not withstand an accident and the
railroads cannot afford to carry casks at the slow
speed the federal government requires.

  In the meantime, the existing nuclear plants
continue to produce this deadly poison, much of which
will last longer than human civilization has existed
thus far.

  The public has been alerted to these dangers, but
nuclear energy is a silent killer, and the nuclear
industry has run a very effective lobbying campaign.
Crucial to this is the fact that cancers take up to
20 years to develop, and in that time people move,
officials retire and change jobs, records are lost. It
is not a spectacular earthquake or even the AIDS
epidemic, which burst suddenly upon the world. Nuclear
radiation kills quietly, with diseases that sometimes
do occur for other reasons. The tragic truth is it may
take a large-scale accident to get through to the
daily media and much of the public.

  Clearly, the history of nuclear energy — not just
in the United States but worldwide — demonstrates that
the human race has not yet learned how to deal with
this incredible power and the waste it produces. We
have left death and destruction behind us every step
of the way, from the mining of raw uranium, to the
manufacture of plutonium, to the assembly of weapons
and reactors, to the operation of the reactors, to
the disposal of the waste they create. If we humans
had to pass a test, had to prove to some rational
outside observer that we deserve to be able to
continue working with nuclear power, we would fail

  The only sensible solution is to stop producing
nuclear waste altogether and store existing waste as
safely and as close to the point of production as
possible. Then, begin a reverse Manhattan Project to
find ways to neutralize the deadly mess we have
David Proctor has written for Boise Weekly, The Salt
Lake Tribune, Idaho Mountain Express, The Idaho
Statesman, USA Today and Gannett News Service as a
reporter and editor. His work has also been published
in Rolling Stone, Utah Holiday, New Times, Zoo World,
Edging West, InPrint, Focus, Boise and Supermarket
News magazines and Reuters news service.
(c) 2001, The Boise Weekly

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First posted October 16th, 2001.

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