Energy Solutions moves one step closer to importing Italian nuclear waste

nukeOn Friday, U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart ruled that an interstate compact designed to keep nuclear waste out of the state of Utah doesn’t have authority to do so. “Congress established compacts in 1980s so states would band together to dispose of their own radioactive waste in an effort to ensure that no one state would become a national dumping ground for the toxic material. ”

Governor Huntsman had used Utah’s veto power under the compact to prevent ES from importing nuclear waste from Italy. ES sued saying the compact could not regulate a private facility. The judge agreed. It certainly begs the question what can the compact regulate?

Cross-posted at

EnergySolutions Inc. wants 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 Utah.

If approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the waste would be imported through the ports of Charleston, S.C. or New Orleans.

The company’s pending import license application drew an unprecedented number of public comments, most in opposition.

Tom Clements, Southeastern Nuclear Campaign Coordinator for the environmental group Friends of the Earth, said Saturday he’s encouraging port officials and unions to use all legal means to keep the waste from coming on shore.

“Italy and the rest of the world must deal with their own radioactive waste and not continue irresponsible attempts to dump their dangerous material here,” said Clements, who is based in Columbia, S.C.


2 Responses

  1. It is amazing to me that there should even be any favorable discussion on a proposal to allow nuclear waste from another country to come into Utah.
    There should not be consideration on any waste from any other state coming into Utah.
    Where has common sense been buried?

  2. My question exactly. Where is the common sense? It seems here in Utah we go out of our way to harm our own environment.

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