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A Tribe Split by Nuclear Waste

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.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Kestenbaum is a correspondent for NPR, covering science, energy issues and, most recently, the global economy for NPR's multimedia project Planet Money. David has been a science correspondent for NPR since 1999. He came to journalism the usual way — by getting a Ph.D. in physics first.