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NUKE WATCHDOG CHALLENGES CHICAGO TRIBUNE TO DEBATE POSITION ON YUCCA MT.

For years they [the Trib] have written op-eds containing false and incomplete information; rejected attempts to provide corrections or alternative viewpoints; and generally ignored fair rebuttal of their positions. The stakes for Illinois -- the most nuclear reliant state in the U.S. -- are too high to allow this behavior to continue,
For immediate release:
Friday, February 1, 2002

Contact: David A Kraft
Director/NEIS

neis (at) forward.net
847-869-7650

NUKE WATCHDOG CHALLENGES CHICAGO TRIBUNE TO DEBATE POSITION ON YUCCA MT.

EVANSTON--Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) of Evanston today challenged the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune today to publicly debate their position on the controversial Yucca Mt. high-level radioactive waste site proposal.

"For years the Tribune has used its bully-pulpit to manipulate a decision on an issue which has huge economic and environmental consequences for Illinois," says David A. Kraft, director of NEIS.

"For years they have written op-eds containing false and incomplete information; rejected attempts to provide corrections or alternative viewpoints; and generally ignored fair rebuttal of their positions. The stakes for Illinois -- the most nuclear reliant state in the U.S. -- are too high to allow this behavior to continue," Kraft states. "We challenge the Tribune to publicly defend their positions on the facts. We challenge them to debate the issue fairly, in the light of day."

A debate event will occur on Wednesday, February 20th from 7-9 p.m., at the Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Avenue, in Chicago. It will be moderated by Chicago Media Watch. NEIS has made it clear that the event will occur whether the Tribune sends a representative or not.

"The factual errors in these Yucca Mt. op-ed are legion," Kraft observes. "For years, NEIS has provided every member of their editorial Board with background papers, scientific articles, and other resources that should preclude this from happening. Yet, it continues," Kraft notes.

‘They then use their op-ed privilege to attack opponents, such as Sen. Richard Durbin, using information that they know is factually incomplete or incorrect," Kraft continues. "This is incompetence at best, deliberate deception at worst. It will not stand up under public debate."

The NEIS challenge to debate comes in response to a January 11th editorial the Tribune wrote after Sec. of Energy Abraham notified the State of Nevada that he would recommend the Yucca Mt. site as the nation's first HLRW perpetual storage facility.

"At stake here is whether as many as 36,300 shipments of HLRW -- some of the most toxic substances humanity has ever created -- will begin coming through Illinois on route to a facility that will fail to keep the materials out of the environment for 10,000 years. The Tribune is being challenged to defend why they think this is responsible policy, and how this serves that national good. If they can't defend it, they should stop saying it," Kraft concludes.

Note: Copies of the challenge letter sent to the Tribune are available on request.
--
Dave Kraft
(847)869-7650; -7658 fax
NEIS
P.O. Box 1637
Evanston, IL 60204-1637
neis (at) forward.net
www.neis.org
 
 

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