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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A bill that would ban the importation of foreign nuclear waste into the United States has gained approval from a House committee.
The bill is in response to a Utah company's plan to import up to 20,000 tons of low-level radioactive waste from Italy. After processing in Tennessee, about 1,600 tons would be disposed of in Utah.
It's the largest amount of low-level radioactive waste the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ever been asked to allow into the country.
The Energy and Commerce Committee approved the bill Thursday on a 34-12 vote in Washington, D.C. It now awaits debate in the full House.
Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah and Bart Gordon of Tennessee, both Democrats, are sponsoring the bill, along with Republican Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska. They contend American disposal sites should be preserved for domestic waste.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)