On a nondescript patch of desert in Utah live two neighbors who no longer talk to each other. Nuclear waste is the source of their disagreement. Leon Bear and Margene Bullcreek, with about a dozen others, live on the Goshute Native American reservation in Skull Valley.
Leon Bear wants to rent out the reservation to store much of the nation's spent nuclear fuel. Bullcreek, who lives across the street from Bear, hates the idea. But after eight years of review, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is now putting the finishing touches on a license. If the project goes ahead, some 4,000 canisters of nuclear waste could be brought to the reservation and stay there for up to 40 years.
A lease to temporarily store nuclear waste on the Skull Valley Goshute reservation has divided the community. Neighbors Leon Bear, tribe chairman, and Margene Bullcreek no longer talk.