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  • Nuclear Waste is an Opportunity, Not a Problem

    What’s one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    When it comes to nuclear waste, where the government sees a problem, Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions sees a dollar sign. And what’s best is that the government can’t stop them:

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it doesn’t have the authority to prevent foreign radioactive waste from being imported into the United States.

    The NRC wrote in an April 9 letter to Reps. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) that the Atomic Energy Act doesn’t distinguish between domestic and foreign waste. The NRC says that as long as the material can be imported safely and someone is willing to accept it, the commission can’t keep it waste out.

    Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions is seeking a license to import up to 20,000 tons of low-level radioactive waste from Italy. After processing in Tennessee, about 1,600 tons would be disposed of in the western Utah desert.”

    First and foremost, EnergySolutions is talking about low-level radioactive waste, not the high-level waste that comes out of the reactor. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines low-level radioactive waste as items that have become contaminated with radioactive material or have become radioactive through exposure to neutron radiation. This waste typically consists of contaminated protective shoe covers and clothing, wiping rags, mops, filters, reactor water treatment residues, equipments and tools, luminous dials, medical tubes, swabs, injection needles, syringes, and laboratory animal carcasses and tissues.

    There are three locations in the U.S. for low-level waste disposal: Barnwell, South Carolina, Richland, Washington and Clive, Utah. Facilities must meet NRC safety and regulatory standards. Disposal operations are carried out daily, and there is no justifiable reason to prohibit a company from capitalizing on a profitable business opportunity.

    Nuclear waste, high-level or low-level, should be viewed as an opportunity for companies to develop safe, innovative and profitable disposition methods, not as a problem. Any problem that does exist with managing waste is not technical or scientific, but political. The problem arises when government gets in the way, but when left to the private sector, solutions tend to appear. Crazy how that works.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Nuclear Waste is an Opportunity, Not a Problem

    1. Susanne Vandenbosch says:

      The present economic mess does not encourage one to leave things up to the private sector.

    2. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      One thing we KNOW



    3. ENERWISE, SC says:

      I live close to the barnwell SC facility and I don't smell anything but then some people have very sensative noses, perhaps some people should light a real lantern for a few hours and learn what real pollution is in a room.

      we still keep lanterns around for power outages.

      here in SC.

      atom power is the least expensive unless we use more coal, one day soon no matter your choice this question will come to a head also.

      wind and solar won't replace what we now have and if the dumbos in washington start shutting down the power grid watch and see who vote's for what.

    4. neil davidson los an says:

      why not expand nuclear energy and everyone have cheap electric power ?

    5. lyric says:

      we're going to end up with nuclear energy…. so who cares.

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