Geologic Studies for Nuclear Site Take Time
A still uncertain observation of ground movement near Yucca Mountain should not lead to premature conclusions regarding its suitability as a nuclear waste repository ("New Quake Concerns at Nuclear Dump Site," March 27.)
Not only are the measurements reported straining the limits of observational accuracy, but no determination of their origin or their significance has been made yet.
Current feasibility studies under way at Nevada's Yucca Mountain include a comprehensive geologic program that uses a great variety of new and old techniques designed to complement one another. This will ensure that any repository site will be better known and understood geologically than probably any other place on the globe. Only when all data have been thoroughly analyzed will the entire scientific picture be available and the true significance of these measurements become evident. Only then will wise decisions be possible.
It takes time to do science correctly. We must ensure that scientists are given the time and resources to do a full and complete job so that they will not reach unjustified conclusions based on limited data. Only in the manner will wise decisions be possible and the health and safety of all people be ensured.
C. John Mann Urbana, Ill.
Professor of Geology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
GI Bill's usefulness
As one who benefitted from the GI Bill after World War II, I wish to comment on "Veterans Bypass Education Benefits After Military Tour" (April 7).
The GI Bill was conceived to serve two purposes, as I recall. It was a means for a grateful nation to tell its returning servicemen, "thanks for a job well done," and a way to help veterans jump-start their careers and make up for time spent serving this country.
A young person today who is determined to go to college will find a way, even if it means taking out a loan. Entering the armed forces must seem to high schoolers a circuitous route to get to college. It would surprise me to find a recruit who joined the service only to obtain a college education.
The US Army is spending millions of dollars to fill its ranks, but it is failing to attract qualified recruits. And money for college is one of the the lures used. Does this make good sense? Why would the military offer a young person a college education when to take advantage of this, the person would need to leave the service? Perhaps the recruiters and benefit persons need to talk. Why not spend money to keep persons in the service?
Just as battleships and old soldiers have been retired, it may be time to bid the GI Bill a final farewell. Good job, "Bill."
Presidential legacy - as seen on TV
I want to express my pleasure at finding the opinion-page article "The President Who Charmed Even the Producers of a PBS Series" (March 10). One seldom reads a balanced and realistic appraisal of the Reagan presidency, and the article was a welcome breath of fresh air.
I believe it would be far more useful to our understanding of how political and economic systems function if we taught our younger generation that the Soviet system collapsed because of its own inadequacies. For the Republicans to insist that the US caused it to happen because we were so fortunate as to have Reagan in the White House is to perpetuate a myth that can only risk our living in unreality, to our peril.
George R. Crossman
Falls Church, Va.
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