Australian news, and some related international items

Utah opposes import of depleted uranium waste

Utah gov to DOE: Halt depleted uranium shipment By BROCK VERGAKIS (AP) 16 Dec 09 SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert sent Energy Secretary Steven Chu a letter Tuesday asking him to halt the shipment of nearly 15,000 drums of low-level radioactive waste from South Carolina for disposal in Utah.Herbert’s letter was released hours before the DOE was scheduled to begin the first of three shipments from the Savannah River Site near Aiken, S.C…………The Department of Energy is circumventing state regulators’ efforts to ensure that a private disposal facility in Utah’s west desert can safely dispose of the depleted uranium, said Herbert, a Republican.Depleted uranium is different from other waste EnergySolutions Inc. disposes of at its site because it becomes more radioactive over time for up to one million years. The South Carolina waste is a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process used to make nuclear weapons during the Cold War era……………

Herbert wrote. “As a scientist yourself, I know you can appreciate that good public policy requires good science, and I am concerned that DOE’s decision to ship this waste to Utah now is based more on politics than on science.”………..

The DOE has since said that Nevada has been ruled out as an option because it would have to do an environmental assessment before any new waste could be disposed there. That would take at least a year, which the DOE says is too long.

The Associated Press: Utah gov to DOE: Halt depleted uranium shipment

December 17, 2009 - Posted by | 1, uranium | , , ,

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