Timeline December 1987

On December 8, 1987, Soviet President Gorbachev and President Reagan signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the first arms treaty signed by the superpowers calling for the elimination of a whole class of weapons--intermediate range missiles. An intermediate range missile can hit a target 1,000-5,000 kilometers away--from Europe to the Soviet Union or vice versa. The INF Treaty required the United States and Soviet Union to eliminate over a three-year period all intermediate and shorter-range missiles. The United States agreed to destroy 859 missiles; the Soviet Union, 1,752 missiles. The Treaty also called for on-site inspections to make sure both sides abided by the agreement.

The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act designated Yucca Mountain, Nevada for scientific investigation as the candidate site for the nation's first geological repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. The amendments also canceled the language in the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act calling for a second repository. The 1982 Act intended for the repository to be selected on a scientific basis. The Amendments made the selection process political. "We've done it in a purely political process. We are going to give somebody some nasty stuff," stated Representative Al Swift of Washington. Nevada Governor Richard Bryan promised the state would use every legal means to fight the decision.