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Waste Sites Aren't Built in a Day Either

The columnist in the article "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Piles Up," July 28, is correct that the Jan. 1, 1993, deadline for the development of new waste-disposal facilities passed without the operation of a new disposal site in any of the regional compacts.

But a pronouncement of failure based simply on a congressionally imposed deadline implies that Congress has supernatural powers in determining the time required to accomplish a difficult task. We all know better.

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Since Congress gave its consent to the regional compacts in 1985, the states have submitted license applications to construct new disposal facilities (California, in the Southwestern Compact; Nebraska in the Central Compact; and Texas in the Southeast Compact). Given the current obstacles to development of any type of waste-disposal facility, even for municipal solid waste, these four states reflect remarkable progress.

In addition, the columnist argues that falling waste volumes justify fewer sites. But he fails to recognize that compacting or incinerating waste, the principle means of reducing volume, does not diminish the radioactivity - it only results in a smaller package. He also fails to anticipate that nuclear power plants and other facilities that use radioactive materials one day will be decommissioned. Their dismantlement can produce significant amounts of waste. Gregg S. Larson, St. Paul, Minn. Executive Director, Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission Criminal justice for Demjanjuk

We take issue with your recommendation that John Demjanjuk should be allowed to return to the United States in the editorial "Let Demjanjuk Return," Aug. 16. The specter of a return by Mr. Demjanjuk, welcomed by those who see him as a victim, is obscene.

Your editorial references an exhaustive six-month investigation into the handling of the Demjanjuk case by a special master appointed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals - but ignores the 210-page report's conclusions: that no evidence has emerged to cast doubt on the fact that Demjanjuk voluntarily served in the German SS and that, therefore, the decision to strip him of his citizenship and any right to enter or be present within our borders was "sound."

Those who claim that Demjanjuk's return to the US would serve the interests of justice should readjust their moral compasses. The Justice Department is to be commended for its active efforts to bar entry to Demjanjuk in the face of overwhelming evidence that he was an active, voluntary participant in wartime atrocities. Melvin Salberg, New York National Chairman Abraham H. Foxman, National Director Anti-Defamation League Media and the Middle East

Congratulations for the eye-opening Opinion page article "Flood of Cliches," Aug. 16. The author succinctly diagnosed for us the attitudes of the American media vis-a-vis the Middle East. By identifying and clarifying certain media buzzwords such as "secular," "pro-Western," and "fundamentalism," the author has ably succeeded in doing the spadework for the rest of us. Our duty now is to be cognizant of the many inconsistencies rampant in the American media. Omar Al-Taher, Miami Be fair about FAIR

Regarding the article "Immigration Issue Fueled By Highest Rate in Years," July 27: I am on the board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform mentioned as an "anti-immigration group." We are not against rational, legally-enforced immigration. Rather, we would like Congress to enact a long-range immigration policy that would slow the ever-increasing population pressures on our environment. Sarah G. Epstein, Washington

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