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Utah EnergySolutions Plans Nuclear Waste Imports!

by We're Already Swamped w/ Our Own Nuke Waste! Monday, Dec. 08, 2008 at 1:55 PM

When many U.S. resident downwinders are struggling with life threatening cancer from nuclear radiation exposure, is importing more nuclear waste from other countries really a wise idea?

Cancer clusters downwind of nuclear sites as radiation exceeds human body's limits..

As climate change resulting from fossil fuel combustion becomes a greater issue, the latest strategy of energy corporations is pushing nuclear as a viable option, including reprocessing of spent nuclear waste. The health risks to downwind residents remain a risk..

Reprocessing and accepting spent nuclear waste products from other nations sets a dangerous precedent for exposing U.S. residents to additional nuclear radiation against their wishes. Not like we don't already know about cancer clusters of downwinders living near nuclear facilities, do we really want to add even more nuclear waste from other countries to our already overflowing cesspool of radioactive nuclear waste??

In Utah, a corporation calling itself "EnergySolutions" is doing just that, accepting spent nuclear fuel from Italy despite local public outcry against such acts.

"EnergySolutions wants to import 20,000 tons of Italian nuclear waste into the United States and open up Utah to become the world's nuclear dumping ground. Gov. Huntsman and thousands of Utahns have spoken out in opposition, yet EnergySolutions is suing to bring the waste here."


We are told time and time again by Dept of Energy officials that nuclear energy is safe and we have "nothing to worry about", yet epidemiology and statistical studies of cancer rates of downwinders disproves this DOE assertion of safety every time..

Some background on Hanford cancer survivors from;

"General Information

The Hanford Downwinders Litigation website is a general information resource for our clients in the In re Berg (CY-96-3151-WFN) and Lumpkin, et al. v. DuPont, et al. (CT-00-5052-WFN) cases. The lawsuits arise from the environmental radiation releases caused by operation of the Hanford Nuclear Facility. Located in south central Washington State, Hanford produced plutonium for U.S. nuclear weapons from 1944 until 1990. All of the Hanford downwinder cases have been consolidated. The consolidated case is known as In re Hanford Nuclear Reservation Litigation (CV-91-3015-WFN).

Thousands of people who were exposed to Hanford's radiation filed suit in 1990 against former contractors, such as DuPont and GE, which operated Hanford for the U.S. government. DuPont operated Hanford from 1943 to 1946. General Electric ran Hanford from 1946 to 1965.

Summary of Hanford Downwinder Trials During 2005

Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen presided over the trial that began on April 25, 2005, and went to the jury on May 13. It was a bellwether trial, comprised of 6 plaintiffs with thyroid disease and lasted 3 weeks.

After deliberating more than three days, a 12-member jury returned verdicts for two of the six bellwether plaintiffs in the first Hanford downwinder trial. Gloria Wise was awarded 7,251 and Steve Stanton 7,508 for their thyroid cancers. The jury failed to reach a verdict for the third thyroid cancer plaintiff, Shannon Rhodes. Judge Nielsen declared a mistrial in her case and a retrial was held during November 2005.

The first jury also returned defense verdicts for the three plaintiffs with hypothyroidism. In June 2005, the plaintiffs appealed these three verdicts to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In August 2005, the defendants appealed the verdict for Mr. Stanton and Ms.Wise.

A different jury sat through a two-week retrial for Ms. Rhodes in November 2005. The 12-member jury deliberated a little more than a day before deciding 11-1 in favor of DuPont and General Electric. In early 2006, Ms. Rhodes' case joined the others on appeal."

further info found @;

background from HEAL-Utah;

"Italian nuclear waste fact sheet

Representative Jim Matheson (D-UT), along with congressmen from Tennessee and Kentucky, is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation to ban the importation of low-level radioactive waste into the United States. Senators from Maryland and Tennessee are sponsoring a Senate version of the bill.

The foreign waste ban bills, H.R. 5632 and S. 3225, are critical to keeping foreign nuclear waste out of Utah.

Background Information

EnergySolutions has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a license to import 20,000 tons of radioactive waste from dismantled nuclear reactors in Italy. The waste will be melted down and incinerated at an EnergySolutions’ facility in Tennessee and then 1,600 tons of radioactive ash will be dumped in Utah.

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, the Utah Radiation Control Board, and a regional regulatory board called the Northwest Interstate Compact blocked this waste from coming to Utah. EnergySolutions responded by suing to get its way.

The NRC has delayed making a decision until September at the earliest. However, nearly 4,000 people submitted comments to the NRC, the vast majority overwhelmingly against the proposal.

EnergySolutions' import request:

A dangerous precedent. EnergySolutions claims that its request to dump Italian nuclear waste in the U.S. is "business as usual." Yet, this single import request is almost 10 times greater than all previous foreign nuclear waste imports for disposal granted by the NRC combined (see Figure 1).[i]

The tip of the iceberg. EnergySolutions has made clear it plans to aggressively pursue foreign nuclear waste contracts as an important revenue stream for its shareholders.[ii] Granting approval to this proposal could open the door to the U.S. becoming the world's nuclear waste dump and create a disincentive for foreign nations to dispose of their own radioactive waste. EnergySolutions has been soliciting contracts for additional foreign waste disposal in the United Kingdom. [iii]

A danger to public health and safety. EnergySolutions' import application states that "the generators of this material are not fully known," meaning that it plans to ship unknown types of nuclear material over oceans, into ports, and through U.S. cities and towns.

Bad for domestic nuclear waste disposal. Dumping large quantities of foreign nuclear waste in the U.S. will only constrain further our domestic disposal capacity[iv] and result in the need for expanded or new nuclear waste dumpsites. This presents a clear danger to public health, safety, and the environment.

An unwanted change in national policy. Neither the Congress nor the NRC ever intended that domestic nuclear waste sites be used for the commercial importation of foreign nuclear waste.[v] Importations were only to be granted if they served an "important policy goal." EnergySolutions' import serves only its shareholders.

Figure 1. EnergySolutions' import request to the NRC for 20,000 tons of low-level nuclear waste from Italy is almost ten times greater than all previously approved import requests for domestic disposal combined.

[i] There have been a total of 24 applications to import low-level radioactive waste filed with the NRC, of which 13 have been granted. Some are for amounts as small as a cubic meter or a few dozen kilograms.

[ii] Prospectus of EnergySolutions, SEC Registration No. 333-141645, Nov. 17, 2007, pp. 4-5.

[iii] "U.K. waste next in line for Utah?" Salt Lake Tribune, May 28, 2008.

[iv] Disposal space for U.S. low-level waste is limited. EnergySolutions is the only disposal option for 36 states, with 96% of commercial low-level nuclear waste being dumped in Utah. Importing foreign nuclear waste will only compound this problem.

[v] Letter from the Honorable Bart Gordon, U.S. House of Representatives, to the Honorable Dale Klein, Chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Feb. 12, 2008."

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