U.S. Democrats are criticizing a plan to transport the nation's nuclear waste to a storage facility beneath the Nevada desert.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote next week on a Bush administration plan to build a permanent nuclear waste dump in Yucca mountain in the Nevada desert, 145 kilometers northwest of Las Vegas.
In the Democrats' weekly radio address Saturday, Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley said waste shipments from nuclear power plants - mainly in the east - across the country would be an attractive target for terrorists. She also said an accident involving nuclear waste would be catastrophic.
The congresswoman accused the Bush administration of putting the country at risk of "mobile Chernobyls" - a reference to the 1986 explosion at the Ukraine's Chernobyl power plant that spread radiation over much of Europe.
The waste-dump plan has strong support from both parties in the House of Representatives. Opponents believe prospects of stopping it are stronger in the Senate. Nevada's governor has vetoed the plan, but the president and congress could override the state's objections.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission told Congress last week nuclear waste could be safely transported by rail.
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Two U.S. governors have announced new security measures for the three major airports that service New York City.
The governors of New York and New Jersey said Friday they support a plan to require increased criminal background checks of airport employees at the Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark airports. They also plan on installing fingerprint scanners to identify employees, more sophisticated cameras and motion detectors.
The $100 million plan goes beyond new security measures passed by Congress last year.
The New York and New Jersey state legislatures must pass laws in order to allow the background checks and fingerprint scanners.
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