Environment: Dumping a Hot Potato

Dumping a Hot Potato

The Federal Government has spent $1 billion since the 1960s in the search for a site that is environmentally -- and politically -- safe to bury high-level radioactive wastes from nuclear reactors. When it became apparent that the Department of Energy was dawdling over a hot issue, Congress in 1982 ordered DOE to get a deep nuclear dump in operation by 1998. Last year the department narrowed its candidates to three Western sites: Deaf Smith County, Texas; Yucca Mountain, Nev.; and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington. The deadline of 1998 looked easily attainable.

But last week DOE announced that it...

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