Tuesday, September 13, 2005

NRC Okays Nuclear Waste in Spite of Opposition

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has shown their bias and stupidity once again, by approving the storage of spent nuclear fuel rods at a proposed above ground site on the Goshute Indian’s Skull Valley reservation in western Utah. In spite of the fact that the tribal members don’t want it there, and the danger posed by the nearby Dugway Proving Grounds and the munitions training and testing area (where fighter pilots learn how to bomb the spit our of ground targets), the NRC feels that it’s a “safe site.”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. How is putting a bunch of radioactive waste in concrete containers very close to a place where the military drops live bombs safe?

The only people I know of in the Goshute tribe that are even mildly interested in having it there is the tribal leadership. The Goshutes are in the middle of a trying to establish new leadership over the tribe because of this very issue. I saw a lawyer for the Goshutes commenting on this issue on a local news channel. She said that because the Goshutes are looking for new leadership, allowing this deal to come through anyway is illegal according to tribal law. I don’t like “playing the race card,” but this lawyer said that if the PFS continues to force the issue, and the Federal Government allows it to happen, it will be just another example of continued racial prejudice against American Indians.

Fortunately for Utah, Governor Huntsman and our senators and congressmen are taking up the fight. Even the LDS Church is taking a stand.

I have to admit, my hope for this stuff staying out of Utah is waning. The eastern constituents just have too much influence with this issue, and I suspect that there is some money changing hands under differing tables as well. I can’t be sure about that, of course, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all. I fear that no matter what we do as native Utahns, just like other issues in the past (such as the creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument), our states rights and desires are going to be overrun by uncaring people at the federal level.

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