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Mayor: Honesty on Nuclear Waste

January 28, 2000

CLEVELAND (AP) _ The federal government should be completely open about the risks of shipping nuclear waste across the country, Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White said Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Energy has hearings scheduled Friday in Cleveland to hear from residents concerned about a proposal that could mean the shipment of waste from nuclear power plants through the Cleveland area toward a proposed dump in Nevada.

``I urge the Department of Energy to do everything in its power to ensure that Clevelanders receive accurate and complete information,″ White said at a news conference.

The government has proposed storing waste from the nation’s nuclear power plants at an underground dump at Yucca Mountain, Nev., about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The latest round of public hearings on the matter began Monday in Lincoln, Neb. More hearings are scheduled Tuesday in Chicago.

Like Cleveland, Lincoln and Chicago sit along the main rail and highway routes connecting the East Coast to Nevada.

The Nevada destination makes Ohio an obvious transit point because of its location between the East Coast and Midwest highway connections to Nevada, said Robert J. Halstead, of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects. Cleveland’s position at the juncture of rail routes from Buffalo, N.Y., and Harrisburg, Pa., makes it a similar focal point for rail shipments, he said.

Steve Lesser, an official at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio who helped prepare testimony for the hearing, said it is too early to tell how much waste would move through Ohio and for how long.

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