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Great news for Goshutes

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The year 2002 brings the state of Utah the Winter Olympics, which is great. It is also a great year for the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians. It sounds to me the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is likely to approve a license for the interim storage facility of spent nuclear fuel that Private Fuel Storage and Skull Valley Goshutes have been working diligently toward obtaining.

For the Goshutes, this is great news; it is a stimulus package we have always dreamed of. In the transportation of the spent fuel we see no problem. It will be shipped by rail with all shipments closely guarded and monitored from origin to destination.

In all my years living in Utah, not once has there been any serious situation on the rail lines going through Salt Lake City. Yes, Yucca Mountain will be the final resting place for all spent fuel. For the billions of dollars spent so far, it will be the state-of-the-art repository.

There is talk of terrorist attack on shipments of spent fuel. It's unlikely, but in the event of an attack, the casks are concrete and steel reinforced. Since spent fuel is in solid pellet form, the area around a damaged cask would be quickly cleaned up since the shipments are closely monitored.

In any situation, there are pros and cons. For the Goshutes there is great satisfaction knowing this facility will be helping our nation's electric generating plants of ensuring on-site storage of spent fuel.

I think everyone knows we need clean energy to operate electric generating plants other than burning fossil fuel that causes acid rain, depletion of the ozone layer, which causes the greenhouse effect, or the use of hydroelectric plants, which causes impacts and damages the ecosystem of the environment.

Lawrence Bear

member, Skull Valley band of Goshutes