Too Hot for the Usual Burial

Tough compromises lead to a nuclear-waste policy

Arizona Congressman Morris Udall, aleading environmentalist, called it "a delicate fabric of agreements." An Atomic Industrial Forum spokesman acclaimed it "a masterpiece of compromise." Sierra Club Lobbyist Brooks Yeager noted, perhaps more accurately, "There's an awful lot of politics in this bill."

Whatever the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 turns out to be in history's eyes, it was not easy to achieve. Though it passed with bipartisan support in the waning hours of the lame-duck session and is scheduled for the President's signature this week, it required four years of tinkering in nine separate House...

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