Yucca—no waste, no way!

The Senate voted to support the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This does not end the battle. It defines a war that Nevadans can stop.

For one, with this vote, the Senate actually increases terrorist targets. Operating nuclear plants require waste storage. Storage must remain years after plants close. There will be no reduction in waste storage sites. The repository at Yucca Mountain will be the big one, a Major Terrorist Attraction.

Those wanting to terrorize and destroy will have unlimited opportunity to do so during transportation of waste reactor fuel. Spill this stuff, or blow it up, and invisible devastation spreads. Permanently. Also, the repository at Yucca Mountain benefits those wanting massively dangerous materials. Nevada will attract potential terrorists like a bank attracts robbers.

But no terrorists are actually needed. Ship waste to Yucca and government commits the disruption. Each shipment must include fully prepared hazardous material and armed military teams. Each secret shipment will increase the war zone.

The social and economic costs of the required military operations could cost more than Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf wars combined. An enormous chunk of our taxes will go to protection of shipments. In 1998, the Department of Energy spent a couple million on security to fend off unarmed anti-nuke and public safety activists for one train to cross California and Nevada going to Idaho with experimental reactor fuel from Korea. To protect nuclear wastes from terrorists, we’ll need convoys of armed troops, deployments at every intersection and overpass as well as security checks for everyone living within sight or a rocket’s range of a possible route.

Yucca will be the target. Another 43 states will be battlegrounds. We are at war with a race of violent humans who know no boundaries. The Bush administration calls them terrorists, incites fear and interrogates our next- door neighbors. Some 50 million Americans living within a half mile of the shipping routes will be involved. Everyone will be suspect. Expect armed soldiers, and not just at airports. That is war, and it could be in America. It’ll take 30 years of this kind of terror to fill Yucca. And then, who knows? Unless we stop producing wastes, the next permanent repository must open and the terror will continue.

Armed Americans will confront American civilians. The foreign terrorists do not have to do one thing. This is War of Terror, and we will do it to ourselves. We must not accept this possibility.

Naive folks produced the wastes. They couldn’t conceive of the insurmountable dangers. Nuclear energy backers should know better now. With recognition of threats to civil life, today’s knowledge and the principles of America, this behavior is stupid if not treasonous.

We have options. We can choose to live in perpetual fear. Or, we can set one major cause aside: Stop producing radioactive wastes. In 30 years, the solar power production in Nevada could equal nuclear at less cost and disruption than shipping the waste. Nevadans could stop Yucca.

Nevada’s "Battle Born," remember?