Utah officials angry about nuclear waste

Oct. 28, 2008 at 11:49 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorized the disposal of low-level nuclear waste from Canada and Mexico without informing Utah, officials say.

Steve Dembeck, an import-license officer with the NRC, told The Salt Lake Tribune the state was not notified because the amount of waste involved was "not significant."

The NRC granted three licenses between 2004 and 2006. Two involved waste from a Mexican nuclear power plant totaling more than 1,000 cubic feet, while the other was for 6,000 cubic feet of waste from Canada. The waste, or some of it, was taken to a disposal site in Tooele County operated by EnergySolutions.

Dane Finerfrock, head of the Utah Radiation Control Division, said he can find nothing in his files to show the state was notified about the shipments. He said Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. would expect to be notified.

"The only way we can know is if we are notified, so obviously it's not alright," he said.

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