Department of Advocacy

US - Congress is under heavy pressure from the nuclear industry to shift responsibility (and liability) for the country's nuclear waste to the country's taxpayers. If Nevada's Yucca Mountain is approved as a resting place for 70,000 metric tons of radioactive waste, tens of thousands of trucks from 43 states would begin hauling casks of deadly atomic debris across US roads to Nevada, a plan critics have called "Mobile Chernobyl."

The Department of Energy (DOE) was entrusted with producing an impartial assessment of the risks of the Yucca Mountain storage plan. Last December, Public Citizen called a press conference to reveal the existence of a secret in-house memo that was found attached to a draft version of one of the DOE's reports. The note stated that the report "provides information that potential supporters can use in expressing support for a site recommendation."

Public Citizen's Wenonah Hauter called for an investigation into why "DOE and its contractors are secretly colluding to lobby for the nuclear industry." Sen. Richard Bryan (D-NV) called the DOE's relationship with the nuclear power industry "an unholy alliance" and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) asked the DOE's inspector general to launch an investigation.

© Earth Island Journal, Summer 2001