It's clear to anyone who has been following the Goshute nuclear waste dump proposal that Utahns don't want it. This is why there has been a steady stream of negative press and letters to the editor opposing it. Predictably, Scott Northard, project manager for Private Fuels Storage, rebuts these anti-PFS sentiments with newspaper editorials. He assures us all we really need is a little N-waste education; if we really knew how safe nuclear waste storage truly is, we'd be delighted to host this dump site.

At this point, I could mention the fact that we're in an amazingly heavy cycle of road construction, which makes the transport of even mildly hazardous chemicals infinitely more dangerous. I could mention that the mere existence of human error contradicts PFS's assurances of safety (ask the folks at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island). I could also mention that up to 15,000 shipments will be heading to Utah, some during the 2002 Olympics. There is also the fact that Utahns don't want to live next to a nuclear waste dump, no matter how safe it supposedly is. However, what I'd really like to address is the fact that there are Utahns who want this dump site.Who? Certain members of the Goshute tribe. Why? Well, if the lease that PFS presented to the Goshutes were made public, we'd probably see why in a hurry.

Why won't PFS take it upon themselves to do a little "public education" as far as this lease goes? If it is so safe, and so above board, why won't they disclose what they're doing? To protect who? From what?

Details of the lease are not available because the Goshutes and PFS don't want to disclose them. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has a copy of the lease, albeit with dollar amounts blacked out, although some estimates are that the Goshutes may get as much as $2 million apiece, but they haven't released the document to the public, either. If indeed tribal members stand to gain this amount, this is tantamount to bribery. If PFS wants to play open and fair on this issue, as they claim they do, then they can show their good faith by releasing this document to the public.

Stefene Russell


Salt Lake City