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Licensing of Nuclear Dump

July 07, 1991

The excellent article by Larry Stammer on the proposed Ward Valley radioactive garbage dump (June 26) should alert every Californian to the enormous risks, both financial and health, which would endanger our citizens.

This site, located near Needles, and 13 miles west of the Colorado River, would become the dumping ground for the nation's radioactive waste. Not only could it be a national dump, but it could easily be used as an international dump since U.S.-manufactured reactors sold to foreign countries are guaranteed waste disposal in the United States.

The taxpayers are once again being asked to bail out private industry as in the savings-and-loan debacle. This proposed California site is a sweetheart deal for the nuclear industry.

No technology has yet been developed to deal with toxic radioactive waste contaminating the land, water supply and wildlife. U.S. Ecology, the contractor selected to build and operate this dump, has an abysmal track record. Its Maxey Flats, Ky., site has leaked deadly plutonium into the soil. There is no known technology capable of removing plutonium from the soil and this site will have to be monitored forever at the taxpayers' expense.

The radioactive waste dumps U.S. Ecology built in Illinois and Kentucky are leaking and were forced to close.

The federal government and the nuclear industry are looking for a way to evade their liabilities for nuclear waste. They propose that federal lands in Ward Valley be transferred to the state, making taxpayers liable for any spills, cleanup or litigation that could result from this dump site. Certain federal and state officials have the power to call for a moratorium on the land transfer, assuring that a thorough investigation of financial liability be conducted before this transfer is approved by the California State Lands Commission.

What is more important to our public officials, the welfare of California citizens or the protection of the nuclear industry?

LUCIE BAVA, Coordinator

MARILYN KIZZIAH, Networking Chair

Women For

Beverly Hills

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