Rodeo Nom 1..3 famprouncl Nigh., 290 Eas1 Manor. Teo. 70153 512/771-5W 3rd mama mg SCIOOL IODIC 9th & 10th JUNIOR RODEO Interim Jailor lobo Issociation ‘ Sancti:nog 17th OLD TIMERS RODEO 91″ obi Tins lobo Cambay’ lune. 2 3rd & 24th JUNIOR RODEO lair Wetland All Et ate MI. until 27 2 —“for mom information FARM INCOME is the SAME in 1977-78 as it was in 1974 while the price we ALL pay is inflated by 33% UP OVER 200% ON SOME FARM ITEMS THE COS PRICE UK* TO CHAN0111 THAT TO KUP ONIIIFIVIBOOY 111A71140 Texas IFNI! Farmers LAii Union 800 LAKE AIR DR. WACO, TEXAS 76710 817 772-7220 HALF PRICE RECORDS .MAGAZINES IN DALLAS: 4528 McKINNEY AVE. 209 S. AKARD, downtown RICHARDSON: 508 LOCKWOOD FARMERS BRANCH SHOPPING CTR. SW CORNER, VALLEY VIEW IN WACO: 25TH & COLUMBUS IN AUSTIN: 1514 LAVACA 6103 BURNET RD. IN FORT WORTH: 6301 CAMP BOWIE BLVD. THE COMMODORE HOTEL On Capitol Hill Owned by Texans. Run by a Texan. 520 N. Capitol St., NW Washington, D.C. 20001 22 JUNE 9, 1978 tion of the public and some political leaders. ERDA may not be successful in gaining their acceptance unless it can convince people that it has a sound waste management program and that geological disposal risks to man’s environment are acceptably low.” The GAO recommended that “ERDA should take the necessary time in developing the earth science data required to demonstrate acceptably low risksthe key point in gaining public and political acceptance. Attempting to move too fast on the repository program could, we be How can a government that just celebrated its 200th birthday reasonably guarantee the safe storage of dangerous nuclear residues for 100,000 to 250,000 years? lieve, cause repetition of problems similar to [those] involved at Lyons, Kansas.” As the GAO report makes clear, there is no consensus in the scientific community on the advisability of deep geologic burial of nuclear wastes in salt formations. Even scientists who consider deep geologic burial in salt or other deposits the most promising long-range solution admit that there are too many gaps in present knowledge to undertake such a program immediately. In a report issued May 1, the U.S. Geological Survey outlined “significant potential stumbling blocks that need critical attention,” and called for more research on the behavior of salt, focusing on its characteristic high solubility. The report also urged that a study be made of the flow of ground water around potential repositories, and recommended more research on the “short and long term effects of the repository structure and the waste on the environment around the repository.” “Such research,” the USGS scientists went on to say, “should address the question of the extent to which the repository itself can localize escape of the radionuclides to the environment.” Beyond the theoretical questions addressed by the USGS report, there are numerous unresolved practical questions. To wit: is any contractor capable of accident-free construction; will industry and government be willing to pay the enormous costs of needed safety measures; will the government take time to solve problems that arise as development progresses, or will DOE neglect and even suppress reports and evidence of problems; will the government be prepared to compensate people for the losses they may suffer as the result of the siting of nuclear dumps near them; will sufficient caution be exercised in transporting nuclear wastes to disposal sites; will the federal government prove able to take on the job of what would be virtually perpetual care and custody of sites scattered across the nation? These problems are compounded because DOE. the agency that must develop plans for adequate nuclear waste storage, is at the same time an advocate of nuclear energy development. The Observer will be looking most critically at DOE studies, conclusions, plans and promises, for the record of governmental agency action on nuclear wastes has not been reassuring. Even as the debate over high-level waste disposal has unfolded, a growing body of evidence has appeared suggesting that low levels of radiationamounts of radiation hitherto considered “safe” and “permissible”may in fact be quite harmful. A series of hearings conducted earlier this year before the House subcommittee on health and environment has drawn attention to the following resignificant incidence of cancer of the lung, pancreas and bone marrow among government workers exposed to lowlevel radiation in nuclear weapons ity rate from cancer, particularly leukemia, for workers exposed to radianificant incidence of cancer among workers at the Hanford temporary disstudy finding a significant rise and decline in infant mortality in Illinois \(coming directly with the rise and decline of radioactive emissions from a nuclear power reactor near Chicago. These health findings lend down-toearth meaning to the scholarly caution sounded by the USGS scientists at the conclusion of their May 1 report. Geologists, they warn, “can indicate sites which have been relatively stable in the past, but they cannot guarantee future stability. Construction of a repository and emplacement of waste will initiate complex processes that cannot, at present, be predicted with certainty.” Because of the compromised position of the managers at DOE who control the nation’s plans for nuclear waste disposal, it falls to individual Texans, their representatives, and their counterparts in other states to press for answers to the fundamental questions suggested by such studies. Prominent among the questions that need to be asked is how a cabinet department created nine months ago, or even a national government which just celebrated its 200th birthday, can reasonably guarantee the safe storage of these dangerous residues for 100,000 to 250,000 years. How can it even make such an assurance beyond the 1979 appropriations bill’?