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A Goshute Moratorium

Posted - Jan. 21, 2004 at 8:53 a.m.



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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission sometime this year is set to rule on a proposal to store high-level nuclear waste on the Goshute Reservation in Skull Valley. It would be best for the people of Utah if the waste storage application of Private Fuel Storage, a consortium of eastern utility companies, were summarily rejected.

At the very least, though, in light of recent events, further consideration of the ill-advised waste storage facility should be placed on indefinite hold. A few weeks ago, a federal grand jury indicted several Goshute tribal members, including the chairman, on charges ranging from bank fraud and embezzlement to tax evasion. Beyond the criminal allegations, other serious questions have arisen about the tribe’s financial dealings and alleged involvement in international currency trading.

Of course, KSL hopes the NRC never authorizes the storage of up to 44,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel above ground in the desert west of Salt Lake City. Now that these legal issues have surfaced, and until they’re resolved, it would be even more unconscionable for the NRC to move forward with a decision favorable to PFS and the Goshute tribe.

Besides, KSL firmly believes the waste can continue to be safely stored where it already is until a permanent solution is ultimately found to the national dilemma of nuclear waste storage.

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