Yucca Mountain adviser dies

Hal Rogers, a soft-spoken man who kept Northern Nevada readers informed on Yucca Mountain nuclear waste-site issues, died Monday afternoon after a long illness.

Rogers, 74, was born in Geneva, N.Y., and began working for General Electric while living in Schenectady. He began his career as a technical writer for GE then became general manager of the technical division.

From there he would move into the nuclear division and licensing of nuclear power plants.

His career of 34 years with GE moved him from New York to San Jose, Calif., in 1960, he retired in 1985 in Santa Cruz.

"He was asked to be an adviser on Yucca Mountain because of nuclear experience," said his wife, Doris. "He knew it was the only way the country would survive after depletion of its natural resources."

Rogers was asked to be part of the study committee. He was the Northern Nevada co-chairman.

"What irritated Pop most was the people who became politically and emotionally involved in the nuclear waste issue," said a son, Al. "He knew it was a necessity to have a place to store this stuff and he would always produce the facts.

"He even went on television and radio in debates with people who were against the storage, transportation and use of nuclear power. It was his sole intention to keep people informed, with the facts.

"A lot of times politicians have a way of spinning the information or others would put out false information and he'd get real emotional over that," Al said.

He was a frequent contributor to the Nevada Appeal's "Mailbox" section in an on-going effort to separate the scientific arguments over Yucca Mountain from the political rhetoric.

Rogers was also active in amateur radio operations and enjoyed sailing.

"He liked to sail in the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe," said Doris. "He was quite a guy."

Hal and Doris were married 53 years and have six children; sons Alan C., Robert S., Charles H., and a daughter, Sharon N. Day Rogers. Two sons have died, Bruce E. and James F. They also lost two sons at birth.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17, completing two years of high school in one so he could enlist for World War II. He spent five years in active duty and 37 years in the active reserves.

The Rogerses moved to Minden in 1985 and to Dayton in 1995.

"We were on the road for four years in a motorhome after he retired, and ended up spending most of that time on our son's ranch," Doris said.

Rogers had a heart attack after retiring but recovered well. He suffered a stroke 2 1/2 years ago, leaving him partially disabled but able to live at home. He had a heart attack just three weeks ago and suffered another stroke on Sunday, from which he did not recover.

He is survived by his wife and four children; Al, Sharon, Robert and Charles and several grandchildren.

A memorial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Carson City.


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