Public Confidence Before Public Health

JEROME, ID -- A leak of unspecified radioactive material from a semi-truck highlights the dangers of radioactive waste transportation. With an admission that raises more questions than it answers, the head of the state's Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Oversight Program, Kathleen Trever, said that the leak was discovered after the truck finished its trip from Tennessee to Washington State. The truck was hauling seven containers, and an undisclosed amount of radioactive "residue" leaked from one, Trever said. Government scientists swarmed over a parking lot here, testing for radiation where the driver stopped for dinner. Trever said none was found and claimed that similar searches along the 2,000-mile route also revealed nothing. Trever then claimed that the leak caused no health risk and said "We do these kinds of things [radiation tests] to maintain the public's confidence."

*Twin Falls, Idaho Times-News, Oct. 23, 1999.