By Paul Carter
LDS Church: 'No Position' on Storing Nuclear Waste in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- In a statement issued by Dale Bills, spokesman for
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Church publicly says it
"has taken no position on the question of storing nuclear waste in Utah."
The statement came in response to some members of the church in Utah
pressing church leaders to issue a statement against allowing nuclear waste
to be shipped to the Skull Valley Goshute Indian Reservation, 45 miles east
of Salt Lake City. An agreement has been signed by leaders of the
reservation with Private Fuel Storage to allow the company to place nuclear
waste on 125 acres of reservation land that has been leased for the purpose.
Private Fuel Storage is an entity formed by eight utility companies from
California to the Midwest for the purpose of securing land on which to store
spent nuclear fuel rods from nuclear fueled power plants. The fuel rods will
be encased in concrete and are to be stored above ground on the Indian
reservation, if the proposal is approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
A handful of church members consider the storing of nuclear waste in Utah a
moral issue and have called upon Church leaders to make a statement similar
to that made in 1981 by the First Presidency of the church regarding
locating MX missiles in Utah. In that situation 20 years ago, President
Spencer W. Kimball and Counselors N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney
issued a written statement which said in part, "Our fathers came to this
western area to establish a base from which to carry the gospel of peace to
the peoples of the earth. It is ironic, and a denial of the very essence of
that gospel, that in this same general area there should be constructed a
mammoth weapons system potentially capable of destroying much of civilization."
According to a spokeswoman for Private Fuel Storage, Sue Martin, "We do not
believe this is or should be a moral issue. It should not be a political
issue at this point."
A similar issue of storage of nuclear waste has been fought in Nevada, where
Yucca Mountain has been proposed as the site for the federal government to
locate an underground nuclear waste dump. Nevada Senator Harry Reid has
waged a fight, so far successful, to defeat legislation to approve the site.
That legislative battle has been based predominantly on safety grounds.
Churches Silent on Storing Nuclear Waste in Utah
Salt Lake Tribune 13Oct01 T2
By Judy Fahys: Salt Lake Tribune
Clinton Yucca Veto Victory For Reid
LDS Senator Successfully Keeps Nuclear Waste From Nevada