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It makes no sense to place the nation’s stockpile of nuclear waste in harm’s way.
Fortunately for the citizens of Utah, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission shares that opinion. As the board ruled last week, it is simply too risky to store spent fuel rods from most of the nation’s commercial nuclear reactors above ground on the Goshute Reservation in Skull Valley, in the direct path of fighter jets on routine training missions from Hill Air Force Base.
KSL applauds the decision.
More importantly, we urge the NRC to uphold the ruling if it is appealed by Private Fuel Storage, the consortium of nuclear power utility companies seeking to store their waste in Utah.
Beyond that, PFS would do well to withdraw its application and direct the energy and financial resources of its member utilities toward the opening of the designated permanent storage facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Besides, if above ground storage is as safe as PFS contends, the waste should remain stored where it already is, mostly near the reactors that produced it, until Yucca is opened.
Meantime, the State of Utah cannot rest on the laurels of this significant, but potentially reversible decision. The battle to keep high-level nuclear waste out of Utah must continue from every conceivable angle.