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BRAINIAC

Euphemism: Community investment funding

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Steel and concrete containers hold spent fuel rods at the site of the former Maine Yankee nuclear power plant in Wiscasset, Maine.

By Mark Peters

com·mu·ni·ty in·vest·ment fund·ing (n.): Life is full of awkward situations. One person just wants a relationship, but the other just wants to be friends. The performer on stage says “ta-dah,” but nobody in the audience claps. Or the British government needs to find a spot for a nuclear waste dump, something no city or town would volunteer for. That third scenario recently inspired a government incentive — a payoff — that’s been delicately described as “community investment funding.”

As The Times of London recently reported, Britain’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is offering substantial money to communities willing to accept an underground nuclear waste dump: “It is not officially called a bribe. The government prefers the term ‘community investment funding’. . . But it is difficult to see the offer of up to £42 million as anything other than an inducement to host nuclear waste.” Bonus euphemism: The government is touting the dump itself as a “geological disposal facility.”