Note: this comment was submitted in response to the posted comment and question of Clay Blasdel. The News chose not to post it.
The threat has been played down because the News is the print media team player on the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.
Over fifty years ago (April 29, 1960 article) the News reported that the former Haist property, located beside the south Grand Island Bridge, which had been acquired by the Manhattan Project and used for the disposal of thousands of tons of Linde uranium refinery wastes, was "used for the storage of non-radioactive materials." That was how the News saw its role in the GSA auction of this heavily contaminated Atomic Energy Commission property. The 10 acre property was acquired by Ashland Oil for $51,000 in 1960. Ashland proceeded to spread the uranium/thorium/radium wastes to the adjacent Niagara Landfill and properties to its east, during construction of its refinery and oil tank farm.
The News' coverage of the West Valley site has been sparse and superficial. This article simply continues in that vein, failing to inform the affected public of the full nature and extent of the risks at West Valley, a site that is uniquely unsuited for the storage of the millions of Curies of nuclear wastes present there.
The News hasn't mentioned the fact that the State and federal governments colluded to discard the valid site-wide 1996 Environmental Impact Statement in favor of a "revised" 2008 EIS claiming future off-site dose estimates over 10,000 times lower, as justification for the continuation of on-site waste "stewardship" (storage).
Currently the 275 HLW canisters are hidden behind six feet of reinforced concrete in a building that DoE is tearing down to signify the end of the Demonstration Project and DoE's effective withdrawal from the site. The removal of these HLW canisters to an open air parking lot closer to the road is incorrectly portrayed by the News as "better" and a "safer place." Terrorists armed with depleted uranium-tipped armor piercing incendiary explosives might not see it that way. The construction of a hardened bunker was considered, but discarded as "too expensive."
The unpleasant truth is that safer existing storage is being abandoned to enable DoE to close out the Project, leaving the two burial grounds and the residual HLW in the tanks in the irresponsible hands of a bystanding NYSERDA, a public authority corporation.
See http://www.westvalleyfactsofwny.org for a more complete explanation of these and other details of failing nuclear waste management in WNY.