Monday, February 11, 2008

Get on this, readers:

Earlier this month, the Utah Radiation Control Board was the first state agency to take a stand against EnergySolutions’ plan to import 20,000 tons of nuclear waste from Italy. Now you can make your voice heard, too.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is taking public comments starting today on EnergySolutions’ request to import nuclear waste from Italy’s defunct reactors. Help us send a message to the NRC that importing another country’s nuclear waste sets a bad precedent for Utah and the U.S. to become the world’s nuclear waste dump and endangers our health, safety, and security.

You can email your comments through our web-form here:

You can also mail your comments to:
Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555
Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications

The federal government has been at Utah’s door in the recent past, asking for our approval to let nuclear waste or nuclear fallout into our state. But thousands of Utahns turned back Private Fuel Storage’s nuclear waste plan for Skull Valley and thousands more stopped Divine Strake.

Now we need to speak out again for the health and safety of our state. Please submit your comment today. Thank you!

Here is a sample comment you can use:

Dear Office of the Secretary,

I’m writing to urge the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to deny EnergySolutions’ request to import 20,000 tons of Italian nuclear waste into the U.S. It is my understanding that this single request is many times larger than previous import licenses granted by the Commission and would therefore represent a serious departure in this country’s policies for handling nuclear waste.

Granting this request would set a dangerous precedent for the U.S. to become the world’s nuclear waste repository at a time when our own low-level waste disposal capacity remains uncertain. Filling up our domestic resources for low-level waste disposal with another country’s nuclear waste will put considerable pressure on existing U.S. disposal sites to expand and create a need for new sites to open up. The emergence of new and larger low-level nuclear waste sites due to foreign waste disposal constitutes an unreasonable risk to public health and safety. Having to safeguard these sites from terrorist attacks or other acts of intrusion will put considerable strain on our national defense and security. Furthermore, the transportation of this waste into our ports and through our cities and towns presents an unacceptable risk to our health, safety, and security.

EnergySolutions states in its application that “the sources of this material are not fully known” and that some of the waste may be above allowable contamination for processing and disposal in Utah. The Commission should not agree to allow this import when the nature and hazards of this material remain unclear.

Because of the concerns stated above, I strongly urge the Commission to reject the application submitted by EnergySolutions. Thank you.

John Urgo
HEAL Utah, Outreach Director
68 S. Main St, Suite 400
SLC, UT 84101
(801) 355-5055

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