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After nearly eight years of hearings and debate, the Licensing Board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ruled that spent nuclear fuel rods can be safely stored on the Goshute Reservation in Skull Valley. If that’s the case – if it really is safe to store the stuff in Utah less than 50 miles from the populous Wasatch Front, surely the highly radioactive material could be just as safely stored onsite where it is right now. So, why move it?
After all, storing it adjacent to the power plants that produce the dangerous stuff eliminates the risk of transporting it across the county. It makes a lot of sense to simply keep it where it is. That said, the Licensing Board’s decision is disappointing.
However, since the vote wasn’t unanimous, and since other significant hurdles remain before Skull Valley ever actually becomes a dumping ground for nuclear waste, there is hope it will never happen. As the process progresses, KSL urges the full Nuclear Regulatory Commission to remember that the waste in question wasn’t produced in Utah, nor do citizens of the state benefit directly from nuclear power generation in other parts of the country. Disposal of the waste shouldn’t be our problem. And state officials should continue to do everything they can to prevent the stuff from coming here.