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Know the West

Carlsbad: A nuclear ghost town?

  Is Carlsbad to become another Hanford, Wash., nuclear cleanup project (HCN, 9/1/03: Courting the bomb)? Hanford is now the largest U.S. government Superfund toxic site, requiring more engineers and technicians for cleanup than were ever used in its lifetime of producing plutonium. It took a large flow of water from the Columbia River to cool the reactors producing plutonium. Even 100 million gallons of water for Carlsbad is much more than a “few garden hoses” as Roger Nelson of the DOE stated. It is equivalent to a 6-inch-diameter pipe running full-time. This plutonium project would probably kill all tourism to Carlsbad, and all of the jobs would be gone by 2018, leaving Carlsbad a true nuclear “ghost town.”

Eugene D. Becker