Mock nuclear cask passes by Twin Falls
The Times-News

TWIN FALLS -- A mock nuclear waste cask will pass by Twin Falls Saturday as part of a campaign to protest the selection of Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the country's nuclear waste depository.

After starting on the West Coast, the cask will arrive in Boise Friday before continuing through Idaho and into Salt Lake City on its way to Nevada, Gary Richardson with the Snake River Alliance said Wednesday.

"Proponents in Idaho, including the congressional delegation, favor Yucca Mountain because they believe it will get nuclear waste out of Idaho," Jessica Hixson with the Snake River Alliance said in a news release. "However, if Yucca Mountain opens, hundreds of shipments of nuclear waste would travel through Boise every year for almost 40 years."

The nuclear watchdog group has teamed with Citizen Alert of Nevada to sponsor the cask's journey to raise awareness of an upcoming vote in the U.S. Senate. The Senate will vote to either uphold or overturn the Nevada governor's veto of the site selection.

If the veto can be overturned, Yucca Mountain, located about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, will be the depository for 77,000 tons of nuclear waste from around the country.

U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham has pointed to the Department of Energy's flawless record trucking nuclear waste as evidence of the plan's safety. The Energy Department has not discussed specific routes the waste would take.

The mock cask is a full-size replica of a high-level nuclear waste truck cask, a dumbbell-shaped cylinder 20 feet long and 7 feet tall, on a trailer, the release said.

In Boise, the cask will be greeted by Yucca Mountain opponents at the Vista Avenue overpass above Interstate 84 before traveling to Boise City Hall, where the drivers of the cask will talk argue the dangers of transporting 77,000 tons of nuclear waste by truck or train.

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