Reid uses accident for Yucca argument |

Reid uses accident for Yucca argument

Susan Wood

When a runaway train hurling through Ohio carrying hazardous material hit the airwaves last week, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday that he thought it was a joke.

Others have equated the spell-binding action to a made-for-TV-movie.

But Reid views the near catastrophe as a very serious, reality-based argument for the federal government to rethink using Yucca Mountain as a national waste dump.

There’s been an ongoing debate regarding the U.S. Department of Energy using the site just east of Beatty off Highway 95 in Southern Nevada for nuclear waste storage. It has involved the Nevada Legislature, the state’s chamber of commerce and local chambers – including the Tahoe-Douglas Chamber of Commerce in South Lake Tahoe.

“The one thing they’ve never dealt with is how to get the stuff there,” Reid said. “This (train incident) pretty much sums up the problem.”

Reid cited two reasons why trains carrying nuclear waste long distances is a bad idea.

First, the United States experiences train accidents amounting to one every 24 hours.

Second, those with evil intentions may find it easy to manipulate the nation with the threat of mishandling the waste.

“These (possible scenarios) set a great example of why we shouldn’t transport nuclear waste,” Reid said.

The senator has lobbied hard to get his colleagues in Congress to stand by him, if anything, to protest the hazardous materials crossing their state lines.

Yucca Mountain has been targeted by the Department of Energy for the relocation of 77,000 tons of nuclear waste. Some of it is expected to come from states east of the Mississippi River.

Reid has intensified his concern recently, given the Bush Administration’s recent talk of its upcoming energy proposal that calls for the use of more nuclear energy.

Reid, an outspoken critic of the plan, wonders where all that residual waste will go.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.