A lawsuit may pave the way for a Utah nuclear energy waste dump to begin accepting spent radioactive materials, potentially striking a blow to global wind and solar energy prospects.
Globally, nuclear energy advocates must contend with where to store their waste. In the United States, the reluctance to approve a proposed nuclear waste storage site in Utah has held back new nuclear plant construction. And so far the Western Interstate Nuclear Compact has prevented the transport of such waste through key states.
But in a lawsuit EnergySolutions Inc. says a regional compact does not bar America’s only commercial radioactive waste dump from accepting Italy’s atomic debris. A Federal judge is expected to hear arguments in the case Feb. 26, according to this news report.
“In a nutshell, we do not believe that under the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act that the Clive facility is a quote, ‘regional disposal facility’, and therefore if we’re not a regional disposal facility then we are not under the jurisdiction of the Northwest Compact,” EnergySolutions spokeswoman Jill Sigal told FoxNews.
EnergySolutions aims to import as much as 20,000 tons of radioactive waste from Italy’s now-closed nuclear power program through ports in Charleston, S.C., or New Orleans.
If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants an import license, this would represent the largest amount of nuclear waste ever brought into the United States.