Utah site to accept more nuclear waste

Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:02 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A Utah company says it will bring more nuclear waste to its Tooele County landfill site as part of an agreement with a Swedish nuclear waste processor.

EnergySolutions says it plans to accept "blended" waste from nuclear power plants after the U.S. arm of Swedish company Studsvik treats the waste at its Erwin, Tenn., thermal processing plant, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.

Blending involves diluting radioactive waste into lower concentrations, a technique that has become attractive to the nuclear industry because of a shortage of disposal sites for Class B and C waste, which has radioactive-hazard levels too high for the Tooele County site.

Many nuclear reactor operators have had nowhere to send their Class B and C waste since new restrictions began at a South Carolina disposal site in July 2008.

Utah lawmakers banned Class B and C waste in 2005, and the state Radiation Control Board opposes blending "when the intent is to alter the waste classification for the purposes of disposal-site access."

Dan Shrum of EnergySolutions said the Tooele County site's "containerized" Class A cell was designed to handle the type of hazard associated with blended waste and that the material would fall within EnergySolutions' current license.

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