Japan Sends Toxins to U.S., Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A shipment of five-hundred tons of uranium-contaminated Japanese soil is headed for a mill in Utah's southeastern desert.

The International Uranium's White Mesa mill, south of Blanding, Utah, is set to accept the shipment, which is considered "ore" for processing by government officials.

Utah's environmental activists fear, however, that the shipment could be a signal that the state is destined to become an international dumping ground for radioactive waste -- not just a national one.

But Harold Roberts, with the Canadian-based International Uranium, stresses that the 319 cubic yards of soil is natural ore, not contaminated waste tailings.

But some insist the tailings are waste, no matter the regulatory definitions.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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