STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
We are watching closely as Congress considers the fate of Yucca Mountain Johnny. Yucca Mountain is the spot in Nevada where the government hopes to store nuclear waste from power plants. Yucca Mountain Johnny is a smiling cartoon character with a red hard hat, safety glasses and tool belt. He lives on a government Web site meant to explain the project to kids. Critics think Johnny is biased and are trying to get rid of him as NPR's David Kestenbaum reports.
DAVID KESTENBAUM: Yucca Mountain Johnny looks like a hunkier version of Bob the Builder. His Web site has some games and a quiz. True or false: The nuclear waste that would go into the repository could explode? Answer: false. Predictably, Johnny's Web site has some enemies in Nevada.
SHELLEY BERKLEY: I thought it was an outrageous expenditure of taxpayers' dollars to, quite frankly, propagandize children of this country.
KESTENBAUM: This is Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, a Democrat from Nevada.
BERKLEY: Think of the tobacco industry and Joe Camel trying to sell tobacco and tobacco products to kids. This is the same thing.
KESTENBAUM: Berkley proposed killing the Web site, and now her proposal has been added to a spending bill before the House.
BERKLEY: It's time for Yucca Mountain Johnny to get his pink slip. We pink slipped him. He's gone.
KESTENBAUM: David Kestenbaum, NPR News.
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