Coming in on the heels of the story “Hidden Hazards” in the Jan. 12 Mountain Xpress, an old fight is re-presenting itself in our community. It’s not hidden, and reminds me that what we don’t know can kill us. The prospect is not only for a neighborhood nuclear-waste dump but, at the very least, what would be the heavily traveled corridors of our interstate highways [being increasingly used] for nuclear-waste transportation.
About 30 years ago, the residents and environmental guardians of Big Sandy Mush fought against (and won) a proposal to turn this pristine wonderland of natural and limited resources into a nuclear-waste (land) repository. The large granite composition of our sacred mountains made it a prime target 30 years ago — and again, today.
On Jan. 7, 34 concerned residents from Western North Carolina traveled to Augusta, Ga., for a meeting held by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future ([organized] under the authority of the U.S. Department of Energy). The meeting’s primary focus was on the potential recycling or reprocessing of nuclear waste by the Savannah River site, located in our close-neighbor state, South Carolina.
There is so much scientific data, evidence, facts and history indicating that reprocessing nuclear waste is not efficient or affordable. In fact, the reprocessing will actually create more waste than what we already don’t know what to do with! (It makes me wonder what the real underlying motivation may be.)
Nuclear power is not clean, and never has been. Merely alluding to the idea of it being “clean” energy seems to be subversion, in light of facts, that it is known to cause cancer and birth defects. As a mother and grandmother, I’m tired of running from pollution, poisoned waters and caustic air. There is nowhere else I’d rather live than in the heart of WNC. And after looking at the U.S. map of the numbers and locations of nuclear power plants, I have to wonder, is there really anywhere left to run to, anyway?
— Victoria Regina-Furr