Apr 232002

LAS VEGAS—Nevada authorities are now offering license plates depicting a nuclear blast. The fundraising plate, which honors Nevada’s atomic past, has been criticized as ill timed and inappropriate. Others don’t mind the idea of cars with mushroom-cloud license plates sharing roads with tractor-trailers hauling radioactive waste.

Besides the mushroom cloud, the brown and purple plates show the nucleus-and-atom logo for atomic energy and Albert Einstein’s formula for the theory of relativity.

State lawmakers approved the plates last year, and the bill’s sponsor, Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, said she recalled little opposition.

“This is an important part of Nevada history, and national and international history,” said Titus. “I think Nevadans think testing was patriotic. It was done for the good of the country during the Cold War. Besides, the only other choices were a picture of a woman spread-eagle with a caption stating ‘Nevada: Whores, Gambling and Desert’ and one with a picture of a white tiger captioned ‘Nevada: Siegfried & Roy Live Here’.”

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