EnergySolutions Inc. Plans to Dump Nuclear Waste from Italy in Utah!
EnergySolutions Inc. plans to import radioactive waste from Italy and use Utah as a disposal ground despite objections from the state and people of Utah. EnergySolutions is seeking a ruling from federal court in order to override the objections of the people of Utah.
"Standoff over waste from Italy to drag on"
article written on; 07/19/2008
Trial set for next fall about EnergySolutions' import of Italian debris
By Judy Fahys
The Salt Lake Tribune
"It might be another year before a judge decides who has the final say on importing foreign radioactive waste to Utah.
EnergySolutions Inc. requested the federal court ruling in hopes of securing the right to import low-level nuclear waste from Italy and other foreign countries over the objections of the state, the public and members of Congress. U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart will preside at a weeklong bench trial in the case next fall, according to recently filed papers. Critics hope Congress will pass a bill to outlaw most foreign waste imports before the judge decides. Those involved have little to say about the delay.
The Northwest Interstate Compact on Low-level Radioactive waste is the target of the Salt Lake City company's request for a declaratory judgment. It was created by Congress as part of a national system to manage the flow of low-level radioactive waste and made up of representatives from its eight member states. The compact has no comment, said the panel's attorney Michael S. Tribble.
Compact members granted EnergySolutions' predecessor, Envirocare of Utah, special permission more than 25 years ago to accept low-level radioactive waste at a Tooele County disposal site. Since then, the 1-mile-square site has taken more than 90 percent of the waste going to the nation's three low-level waste landfills.
Low-level waste does not include high-level spent reactor fuel, which remains dangerous for thousands of years. Rather, waste in the Tooele County site, primarily from government cleanups and nuclear reactors, is considered hazardous for about 100 years.
"We have no comment," said EnergySolutions spokesman Mark Walker.
The nuclear waste company basically argues that the compact has no jurisdiction over EnergySolutions' privately owned and operated facility. The compact contends Congress gave it authority for low-level waste within its entire regional boundary.
EnergySolutions triggered the controversy last fall by applying for a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to import 20,000 tons of waste from Italy's reactor cleanups and bury about 1,600 tons of it in Utah. The NRC had considered waiting for the judge's ruling before deciding on the license, but is proceeding with the license request, said NRC's Stephen Dembek.
"The Commission will consider all pertinent information with respect to both the substance and timing of its decision," he said.
Legal delays give proponents of a foreign-waste ban more time to build support. Co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, a Utah Democrat, the bill faced an uphill battle this year because Congress has only a few more weeks in this session.
"At the heart of the lawsuit is EnergySolutions' desire to force policymakers out of the debate about whether the world's nuclear waste should be dumped in the United States," said Vanessa Piece, director of the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah. "While this legal delay will keep the Italian waste out Utah for another year, we need the rest of our congressional delegation to join Representative Matheson in taking decisive action by banning the disposal of foreign nuclear waste altogether."
fahys [at] sltrib.com
above article found @;
Some background on EnergySolutions Inc. from Shundahai;
"March 2006 - The Utah legislative session ended on March 1. During the final weeks of the session the bill proposed by the legislature giving itself override power over dissent by the governor to passed both chambers. The governor, as expected, vetoed the measure, and although the Senate successfully overrode the veto, the session ended without the House bringing the measure to a vote. Regulation of nuclear and hazardous waste in Utah will continue to be handled by a process of consensus of the county, regulatory, legislative and executive bodies. The measure had been controversial because of the involvement the bill' s sponsor had with the nuclear waste giant Envirocare. The giant became a behemoth earlier this month, when it purchased BNG America, changed its name to EnergySolutions, and then purchased Duratek of Maryland. These acquisitions give the new EnergySolutions expertise in all classes of nuclear waste, as well as reprocessing capabilities. Recently another company, Clean Harbors, sought to expand its hazardous waste operations in Tooele County to include nuclear waste.
April 2006 - The Department of Justice has approved the merger of EnergySolutions with Duratek. Early in April it was revealed that Duratek was one of the firms bidding for a federal grant to develop waste reprocessing technologies. EnergySolutions asserts that the site will not be in Utah, but has declined to name the proposed site."
more info found @;
In addition, three whistleblower workers are claiming the methods used by EnergySolutions when storing their radioactive waste is less than what is required for safety..
from Deseret News;
"Those who filed a federal whistle-blower lawsuit against Energy Solutions say they hope their fourth attempt at their suit will be successful.
U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins dismissed the group's last False Claims Act suit, but in a ruling last month allowed the former employees to modify and re-file, to the protest of Energy Solutions attorneys.
All three men are former employees of Energy Solutions, then Envirocare. They claim the company which stores low-level nuclear waste made false claims for payments under contracts with the U.S. government when it certified that it had complied with federal and state regulations for disposing hazardous wastes at its facility in Clive, Tooele County.
While working at the company, the three employees say they documented numerous instances in which radioactive waste was improperly disposed of. The cells, which encase the waste, were poorly constructed and had cracks in them, they allege.
Energy Solutions has denied the allegations and points out the lawsuit has been thrown out of court three times already.
In his ruling, Jenkins said the group would have to come back with more details in their suit. "I think we've been able to beef up the allegations of the complaint," said Steve Russell, attorney for the former workers. "What the judge was looking for primarily was evidence that Envirocare, now Energy Solutions, was certifying to the United States that they were doing everything according to their contracts as a pre-requisite of being paid."
entire article @;
There's plenty of reasons to object to this corporation dumping nuclear waste from around the world in Utah..
BTW, What happened to Utah independent media website? Will Utah imc return??
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