Friday, March 21, 2008

Congressman Jim Matheson: Say No to Foreign Waste

Dear Robert,

Utah should not be viewed as the dumping ground for nuclear waste. I particularly object to foreign countries viewing this state as a convenient place to dispose of their waste.

That is why I wrote to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), opposing a license application to import 20,000 tons of waste from decommissioned nuclear power plants in Italy, process it in Tennessee and put the final product--approximately 1,600 tons of Class A waste--in the Tooele County disposal facility. This month I introduced bipartisan legislation to ban the NRC from authorizing importation of foreign-generated waste. The legislative record on waste storage shows that Congress never meant to enable the NRC to openly accept foreign-generated radioactive waste.

I am concerned that efforts to import waste from international sites come at a time when the U.S. is still struggling to meet its own nuclear waste storage needs, which are projected to grow to 15 million cubic feet of low-level nuclear waste annually.

The Utah Radiation Control Board has adopted a resolution urging federal regulators to deny the import license application as well.

All waste streams raise concerns about risks suffered by local communities. Adding new streams of waste from international sites would serve only to compound the risks. This proposal does not serve Utah's nor America's interests.


U.S. Representative
2nd District of Utah

Photo: Congressman Jim Matheson- Reach Out and Read with St. George Preschoolers

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