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EnergySolutions to Reduce Amount of Incoming Radioactive Waste

EnergySolutions to Reduce Amount of Incoming Radioactive Waste

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Richard Piatt Reporting Governor Huntsman says he's made a deal with EnergySolutions that will reduce the amount of radioactive waste that will flow into Utah.

This is an agreement that even has EnergySolutions critics satisfied. That's because it says EnergySolutions will not expand the landfill that now accepts radioactive waste and will actually reduce the amount of waste the state will accept.

The bottom line is that instead of fighting to keep accepting waste into the future, EnergySolutions has agreed to handle the waste under its current permit, and that's it. It looks like there is an endgame after all for the proposed increase of storage of other states' radioactive waste.

The Governor announced the deal at a news conference without EnergySolutions present. A couple political notes: The governor was about to send a letter urging a multistate governing body to force limits, and Governor Huntsman ran his campaign on limiting waste.

For him, this agreement is a victory. And past critics of the landfill agree.

Governor Huntsman: "There's not much I can do about waste agreed to by my predecessors. But there is something I can do about levels above and beyond that."

Vanessa Pierce, HEAL Utah: "I think they're cutting their losses. And rather than engage in a legal, ugly battle against the governor of Utah, they're probably gonna try to shove more waste in other states."

Here are the details of the agreement. EnergySolutions has agreed to stop pushing for a permit to expand. That means no new Class A waste will come to Utah. In numbers, that means 117 million cubic feet of waste will not get shipped here.

The landfill still has a permit to accept about 162 million cubic feet of waste, which it says it will do. But the company re-affirms it will not accept waste at higher levels of radioactive waste than class A.

I spoke with the company this afternoon trying to get a statement from them. My question for EnergySolutions is: What's in it for you? Why limit the amount of waste that is coming in?

They are working on a statement right now. We do know that EnergySolutions is aggressively trying to expand into other states.

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