Was it a hoax? Nine months after residents of Show
Low, Ariz., fervently debated a proposal to build a 900-megawatt
nuclear power plant in the nearby White Mountains, the proposal is
dead. "It all just went away," Show Low City Manager Patrick
Sherman told the Arizona Republic. Last June, Phil Downing, then
executive director of the White Mountain Regional Development
Corp., stunned the community when he told local papers he was
helping a nuclear power company locate a site north of Show Low.
Opposition groups organized to keep nuclear power out, while
supporters argued that a plant would boost a sagging economy. But
the company never notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of its
plans to build a facility. Now, Downing says the company may have
used the nuclear plant to test the waters before initiating a more
controversial project, such as a nuclear waste dump.