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Friday, April 17, 2009

this appears to be a legitimate article

although, i really am taken aback. i just cannot believe it. how the hell stupid are we?

NRC says it can't ban importation of nuclear waste

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it doesn't have the authority to prevent foreign radioactive waste from being imported into the United States.

The NRC wrote in an April 9 letter to Reps. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., that the Atomic Energy Act doesn't distinguish between domestic and foreign waste. The NRC says that as long as the material can be imported safely and someone is willing to accept it, the commission can't keep the waste out.

Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions' is seeking a license to import up to 20,000 tons of low-level radioactive waste from Italy's shuttered nuclear power program. After processing in Tennessee, about 1,600 tons would be disposed of in the western Utah desert.

Matheson and Gordon are sponsoring a bill — which has yet to get a hearing — that would ban the importation of low-level radioactive waste unless the nuclear material originated here or the waste was imported for a strategic national purpose.

They contend that the country should restrict space at its dumps to domestic waste. The site in Clive, Utah, is the only low-level radioactive waste facility available to 36 states, although EnergySolutions says capacity there isn't an issue.

The company has agreed to limit the amount of foreign waste accepted in Clive to 5 percent of its remaining capacity.............

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