As one drives south out of Amarillo along Interstate 27, on the right side of the road rests the rusting remains of abandoned drilling equipment. An enterprising, but not very prescient contractor, moved the equipment to the area in the in mid-1980s. The contractor hoped to profit on the construction of a planned high-level radioactive waste repository near Hereford, Texas. Unfortunately, now it stands as an eroding monument to the government's ill-fated attempt to make Deaf Smith County, Texas, home for the nation's high-level nuclear waste. The rusting remnants symbolize, in general, the failures that characterize the federal government's handling of high-level radioactive waste. Like nuclear waste, the remains are neither eye-catching nor awe-inspiring. Nuclear waste, though, for a brief time in the 1980s, inspired Texas Panhandle residents to battle the federal government. The following work focuses on that struggle and the larger ramifications of the United States' often erratic radioactive waste policies.