Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Thursday, November 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 39° Clear
News >  Spokane

Make Way For 38 Million Cubic Feet Of Radioactive Waste

By Estar Holmes Contributing Writer

Last September, Dawn Mining Co. announced it would be shipping up to 50,000 truckloads of uranium byproduct through Spokane to the newly licensed repository at Ford, Wash.

The material is to be shipped to Spokane by train, then transferred to waste haulers that will complete the trip to Ford via Interstate 90, U.S. 2 and state highway 231.

The Department of Health says the material is harmless. The trucks won’t even require special warning markings. Nevertheless, the federal government is willing to spend millions of dollars to ship this ever-so-slightly radioactive garbage all the way to the Northwest.

The company needs to make about $20 million on the dumping scheme.

If you’re like most people, you probably spend most of your time thinking about raising your kids and keeping your rig running. But this might be a good time to think about whether importing 38 million cubic feet of radioactive waste to Washington is how you want your tax dollars spent. This might be a good time to think about radioactive garbage.

Ask anybody if they want the nation’s next radioactive dump in their neighborhood and they’ll say, “No!” (Unless, of course, they work for the folks bringing in the dump).

Whether or not we think about it, this country has a lot of nuclear garbage that simply has to he buried somewhere. So, while you and I aren’t paying much attention to the matter, the people who own the garbage are trying very hard to come up with places to put it.

Of course, when people first find out it’s coming to their neck of the woods, they get mad. That just makes the people who own the garbage try even harder. See, they don’t have a choice. They have to put it somewhere, eventually.

Well, when one person needs something and another one has it, we have the makings of a promising business deal. So it figures that if one guy has a bunch of stuff he needs to bury, another guy with a big hole in the ground stands a chance of making some big money. That’s why this whole nuke dump thing is big business.

We’re also talking big government here.

If there’s one thing you’ll find swarming around radioactive dumps, it’s bureaucrats. You pay their salary with taxes so they can watch out for you.

But the big companies like to help out the bureaucrats, too. They’re always calling them up, giving them advice, and paying for experts to provide all that technical information about picocuries, daughters of radon and all that stuff most of us don’t understand. They’re real generous around election time, too.

Big companies and the government work very well together. They put on meetings so you and your buddies can tell them in person how you really don’t want their radioactive garbage around. Of course, that’s what the companies expect to hear. I don’t think there’s any place where people have gotten together and begged the company to put one of these dumps in because of how great it would be.

The company tells everybody that its dump is the best thing since apple pie. Since people are so used to hearing that those big companies bring us all the good things in life, some people actually believe that radioactive garbage must be good for them, too.

Time is on the company’s side, because people get tired of worrying about the stupid dump and they feel better knowing that the government is going to handle everything, because with the bureaucrats and the big-business guys looking out for them, what could possibly go wrong?

Another given is that the “greens” will be fighting the “patriots,” so they’ll be too busy arguing to get organized and stand up for themselves.

Here’s what could go wrong.

The company’s bottom line could become more important than you are. The company could have more influence on public officials than you do. The company and bureaucrats could be doing just about anything and getting away with it, because you’re busy just surviving.

Next thing you know, your tax dollars will be subsidizing their operation and you won’t even know it. Their trucks will be wrecking your road but it’ll be too late. They’ll need to put some radioactive stuff somewhere in a hurry and you won’t be able to stop them.

They know you give up easily. That’s about the only reason that south Stevens County is the perfect place for the next national low-level radioactive waste dump.

xxxx

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com