The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin may be just far enough away from the Tri-Cities that its editorial page editor doesn't know the difference between a private business in north Richland and Hanford. The Herald normally keeps its facts about Hanford straight, so I was surprised to see the Herald re-run the Bulletin's editorial error about shipping waste from Mexico, as well as what amounted to an alarmist opinion.
The facility proposed for treating the waste from Mexico is a private business in north Richland and is not part of Hanford. Both papers' editors should ask themselves if they're serving their readers well by being alarmist about shipping nuclear waste. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 3 million packages of nuclear waste are shipped in the country each year.
It may sound scary, but what do the statistics show? Hanford has been safely shipping plutonium-laced wastes to New Mexico for more than 10 years. What will the Herald say when it comes time to ship 2,300 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel and millions of gallons of treated tank waste away from Hanford? It's not just apples and wheat if it spills, but comparing the transportation safety record of daily commerce to the nuclear industry is like saying apples are oranges.
GEOFF TYREE, West Richland
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w Editor's note: No endorsement is intended or implied in the Herald's selection of commentary from other newspapers and columnists. That said, it was careless to repeat the factual error regarding the proposed treatment of Mexican wastes. Thanks for the clarification.