Time for Harry to return the nuclear waste favor?

Now that Harry Reid has drained the lifeblood of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project — federal tax dollars — if he has a deceitful or vengeful bone in his body, and many people say he has 206, perhaps it is time to return the favor to an old Senate colleague.

1982 column

I was rummaging through some old clips the other day and came across a front-page column I had written for the Shreveport Journal on May 24, 1982. It was about the potential for a nuclear waste burial site in the Vacherie salt dome just a few miles east in Webster Parish and how the waste would likely get there via Interstate 20 through the heart of town or via railroad through the heart of town or on barges down the Red River that separates Shreveport and Bossier City.

The Vacherie salt dome was one of six sites being considered by the Department of Energy at the time. The others included Yucca Mountain and sites in Mississippi, Texas, Utah and Washington state. The Mississippi site was the frontrunner at that time, with Vacherie the No. 2 choice.

Nothing to worry about I told my readers, each state was assured of its veto right, just like New Mexico, whose veto of a military waste project was ignored.

Jim Day cartoon

In 1987 Louisiana’s Sen. J. Bennett Johnston ushered through what we affectionately call the Screw Nevada bill, which politically rather than scientifically singled out Yucca Mountain as the sole site to be studied for nuke waste.

In 1982 the need for a nuke waste dump was urgent, according to the Office of Technology Assessment, which said “existing reactors are running out of spent fuel storage space, and by 1986 some may face the risk of shutting down for some period if there are delays in efforts to provide additional storage capacity.”

So, since it is so urgent, perhaps the powerful Senate majority leader can cram through a bill to make the Vacherie salt dome the resting place for highly radioactive nuke waste for a couple million years.

Then Louisiana could then pass the tax I suggested back in 1982: the Northern Undulating Clay Lands Environmental Region General Levy on Wastes — the NUCLEAR GLOW tax.

Don’t you love it when a plan comes full circle?

Jim Day cartoon book cover

5 comments on “Time for Harry to return the nuclear waste favor?

  1. Steve says:

    Harry owes you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How many nuclear reactors do we have, in Nevada, anyway? With all that government land in the middle of our state, there must be, what? 4 or 5?

  3. Steve says:

    To think Harry worked so hard with so little help from the local media (snicker) to call a halt to that project. The help was available all along, he just refused to accept it for its source.

    Disclaimer, I was all for that project here, politicaly motivated or not. That spent fuel is going to make someone or some group very rich once science figures out how to use it. That could have been Nevada.

  4. […] when Louisiana Sen. J. Bennett Johnston rammed through what many Nevadans affectionately call the Screw Nevada bill, which politically rather than scientifically singled out Yucca Mountain as the sole site to be […]

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