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Utah: SC waste won't have to be shipped elsewhere

Apr 5, 2010 7:18:00 PM - thestate.com
About 3,500 tons of waste from a former nuclear weapons complex in South Carolina awaiting disposal near Salt Lake City meets Utah's health and safety standards, state regulators said Monday.

Utah's Department of Environmental Quality said test results from a Tennessee lab confirmed that the Savannah River Site's depleted uranium radiation levels don't exceed state standards, so the waste won't have to be shipped elsewhere.

EnergySolutions Inc. is only licensed to accept the lowest classification of low-level radioactive waste at its facility in the desert about 70 miles west of Salt Lake City.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert ordered testing of the depleted uranium from the Savannah River Site in January after an environmental group said it reviewed shipping manifests for some of the waste and found some barrels likely contained waste that's too hot to be disposed of in the state.

That's because the material includes radionuclide technetium-99, a man-made product that results from the fissioning of nuclear fuel in a reactor to make plutonium for nuclear weapons. State law only allows for certain levels of the material to be disposed of in Utah.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)