Radioactive waste dump expansion possible in Utah

Radioactive waste dump expansion possible in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's impending resignation could open the door for a nuclear waste disposal firm to increase the capacity of the country's largest low-level radioactive waste dump by about 78 percent.

EnergySolutions Inc. was already on a path to pile up to 9.8 million cubic yards of waste on its mile-square facility in Utah in 2007 when Huntsman threatened to use a regional compact to block its application.

Instead, Huntsman and company CEO Steve Creamer signed an agreement in which EnergySolutions withdrew its application and reaffirmed its commitment not to dispose of hotter radioactive waste in the state.

In exchange, Huntsman said the company could convert 3.6 million cubic yards of space reserved for uranium mill tailings so it could handle the type of debris that comes from decommissioned nuclear power plants.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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