Radioactive waste is building daily throughout the United States and the government doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. The failure of the media to fully address this issue, based on the following five censored nominations, combined to make this the #3 censored story of 1981.


RADIOACTIVE WASTE IN THE SEA – From 1946 to 1970, barges and planes dropped radioactive trash into 50 ocean dumps up and down the east and west coasts of the United States including prime fishing areas. To this day we don’t know how dangerous they are. Mother Jones, July 1981.


MILITARY’S UNKNOWN A-WASTE – While public interest generally focuses on commercial nuclear power plants, wastes from atomic weapons production accounts for half the radioactivity and more than 90 percent of the volume of nuclear waste in the U.S., including some 77 million gallons of high-level liquid waste from the manufacture of plutonium. Christian Science Monitor, 12/28/81.


THE $120 MILLION BURIAL CHAMBER THAT DIDN’T WORK – The Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Project in New Mexico, focal point of industry and government hopes for early disposal of nuclear wastes, sprung a fatal leak last December making the site unsuitable for nuclear waste storage. San Francisco Chronicle, 2/7/82.


HOT WHEELS ON THE HIGHWAYS – A National Academy of Sciences report reveals that the Reagan administration plans to funnel thousands of truckloads of highly toxic spent atomic reactor fuel on public highways to one or more dumps in the West or Southwest. San Francisco Chronicle, 11/6/81.


WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A DEAD REACTOR? – On July 23, 1976, Pacific Gas & Electric’s Humboldt Bay nuclear reactor in northern California shut down for refueling – and has not reopened since. The problem is that PG&E apparently does not know how to decommission the reactor. Researchers also discovered that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) did not require decommissioning plans at the time of licensing. Mother Jones, January 1981.






     Parade magazine warned its more than 80,000,000 readers that nuclear waste was a growing problem on March 29, 2009.


     It reported that “During the Reagan Administration, the federal government promised to take possession of and responsibility for all nuclear waste generated in the U.S. by 1998. That still hasn’t happened. The Yucca Mountain project – a remote Nevada facility slated to be the main storage site for  nuclear waste – has been in development for more than 10 years and has cost more than $9 billion.”


     The problem of what the U.S. should do with its growing nuclear waste is not 10 years overdue as suggested by Parade. It has been a censored nomination for some 30 years now. And, as Parade acknowledged, despite more than $9 billion dollars spent, even the proposed site is still uncertain to this day.



Those who cannot remember the past

are condemned to repeat it!

— George Santayana