New technology speeds border crossing Regarding the opinion article "Border-crossing Boondoggle," (Oct. 26): It incites false fears when we really need facts and reason discussing US northern border crossings.

Contrary to the article, the exit-checks called for in the 1996 immigration reform law will "not significantly disrupt trade, tourism, or other legitimate cross-border traffic at land border ports of entry." That's a fact, and it's law.

The article cites a series of alarmist speculations but never acknowledges the technology that will speed legitimate cross-border traffic. Examples of this technology are already working at the border and are expediting legitimate crossings.

As cross-border traffic steadily grinds to a halt at both the northern and southwestern borders, we need to consider solutions based on facts. Inciting fear won't get a single vehicle across an international bridge more quickly. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas Washington Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims

Voters want substance, not image In the article "What the Reform Party signifies" (Oct. 26), the author states that "voters now attach more importance to a candidate's persona than to party principles." I believe she is mistaken.

Voters are interested in policies and principles, which is why they stay away from the polls in increasing numbers, while campaign managers, television interviewers, and party commercials build up the "image."

Of course, the politicians themselves are complicit in this marketing approach. You'll notice that in press conferences the only reporters called on are those who can be counted on not to ask awkward questions. The priorities of the media become clear when you see 50 cameramen taking the same picture of the same man, that we have seen a thousand times before. I doubt that the Reform Party will do more than reduce this sad state of affairs to farce. Peter N. Dunn Middletown, Conn.

Recycling Russian warheads As you point out in the editorial "No Way to Treat a Treaty" (Oct. 15), the Senate's rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, however regrettable, is not the last word on arms control. The greatest challenge is reducing the huge inventories of nuclear weapons materials in the United States and the former Soviet Union.

We can make the real and imagined threats from plutonium and enriched uranium disappear by eliminating the potential for these nuclear materials falling into the wrong hands.

Russia has converted the equivalent of approximately 3,200 nuclear warheads into nuclear power plant fuel that the US Enrichment Corp. sells to utilities for producing nuclear-generated electricity. This is being done under the 1993 Megatons to Megawatts program.

By the end of this year, the US will have received and paid for Russian reactor fuel produced from 80 metric tons of enriched uranium, but the original agreement calls for the purchase of 500 metric tons. The US uranium industry is understandably concerned that Russian nuclear fuel will flood the market, driving down the price.

These concerns can be overcome, if the US Government plays a more active role in fulfilling the terms of the agreement. And every effort should be made to obtain Rus- sian plutonium for conversion into reactor fuel, thereby beating these potential nuclear "swords" into electric "plowshares." William H. Miller Columbia, Mo. Professor of Nuclear Engineering University of Missouri

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