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U.S. Energy Policy and Nuclear Plants

December 21, 1990

The Times is right: We will need more nuclear plants in our future energy mix (energy policy editorials, Dec. 9-11). If nuclear waste disposal is truly a political stalemate, why not try a political solution?

Real environmentalists concerned about air quality, fossil fuels and the environmental harm that would accompany any electricity shortage could demand that the drilling and testing at Yucca Mountain in Nevada be completed promptly. If it fails, another site must be found and another decade will go by.

But the wastes already exist, and it is the obligation of our generation to put them away permanently. If it is done safely, it should not matter on which side of a state line the hole is drilled.

The nuclear waste program has had hundreds of public hearings and thousands of pages of congressional testimony. The public has had every opportunity to be involved. Now it is time for environmentalists to stand up and help solve a problem.

A. DAVID ROSSIN

Los Altos Hills, Calif.

Rossin was assistant secretary for nuclear energy in the U.S. Department of Energy, 1986-87.

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