Shipping to Gomorrah
Washington state went to court yesterday to try to prevent the federal government from continuing to ship radioactive waste to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation until the U.S. Department of Energy makes good on a commitment to clean up the site. The state claims that the DOE reneged on an agreement to clean up 78,000 barrels of radioactive waste at the southeastern Washington site. In exchange for the cleanup, the state had agreed to accept another 170 barrels of waste for temporary storage. Now, Washington Gov. Gary Locke (D) wants an injunction against further shipments until the feds agree to a legally enforceable timetable for the cleanup. Environmentalists and nuclear watchdog organizations praised the state for its strong stance, but the feds said yesterday they would not be forced into putting a cleanup commitment in writing.