Column: Nevada Natives oppose nuclear waste

"A small group of Native Americans, professors and government officials met last week in Nevada to exchange information on nuclear waste issues as they relate to Native Americans.

The discussion was disturbing. Chicagoans and Native Americans alike should be alarmed. One of the big issues discussed week was the transportation of radioactive waste to Yucca Mountain, if the site receives the approval being sought by the DOE from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Kenny Anderson, of the Las Vegas Paiute tribe, said flatly, "What happens if it crashes and radiation is released into the area?" He added, "Our small area would be affected, and so would Las Vegas."

Note to readers: Some of that waste will embark on its happy train ride West from a nuclear power plant near you.

I had no idea how huge Las Vegas was. It's not just a strip of casinos; this is a sprawling desert suburb with a population that exceeds its reasonable need for water in the future by two or three times, state officials told me.

If an accident happens while the nation's nuke waste is being quietly trucked and railed in, the water supply for the great desert playground could be contaminated."

Get the Story:
Marlene Lang: What to do with toxic waste? (The South Town Star 4/14)