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Utah's Disastrous -- and Duplicitous -- Blended Waste Decision

There are times when powerful interests are so brazen in their willingness to twist truth that it takes your breath away. Yesterday was one of those days.

Utah regulators issued a late-afternoon press release announcing that they were ordering EnergySolutions to do a technical study to make sure that it’s safe to dump blended nuclear waste in Utah. Sounds like decent news, right? Oh, but here’s the rub: While that study is underway, EnergySolutions can go ahead and start dumping hotter radioactive waste here. Immediately. Before the state has figured out whether it’s safe or not to triple or quadruple the radioactivity that comes to Utah.

Does that make any sense? Of course not. And the state’s willingness to allow the waste in immediately certainly indicates that they’ve already decided it’s safe. But, to appease the groups and editorial boards and community leaders and everyday folk who have been urging the Herbert Administration to reject this dangerous waste stream, they’ll go ahead and order a nice little study to keep us quiet.

Are you mad yet? Because you sure should be. And now it’s time to act. Time to call Governor Gary Herbert. Time to let him know his regulators have failed. Time to tell him you expect him to stand up and do what’s right for the people of Utah. Time to show leadership, like Gov. Huntsman did, and stand up to EnergySolutions. Time to act to keep Utah from being the dumping ground for the nation’s nuclear power plant waste.

Thankfully, Gov. Herbert can stop this waste. But we need your help to show him he should listen to the people of Utah, NOT the executives at EnergySolutions!

Please call now. RIGHT NOW -- and ask Gov. Herbert to act now to protect Utahns from hotter blended nuclear waste. 801-538-1000.

Forward this message to your friends, to your colleagues, to your family members and ask them to call. We CAN stop this waste if Herbert gets a call from YOU!

Here’s a little more on why we’re so livid. The state issued its wildly misleading press release after 4 pm. We scrambled to respond, but unfortunately, the Salt Lake Tribune mostly bought the state’s spin. KUTV, luckily, approached the state’s claim that this was good news with a bit more skepticism.

At the heart of the state’s misleading announcement is the contention that they won’t be allowing “large-scale” blending while the study is pending. They’ll just allow EnergySolutions to dump up to 40,000 cubic feet of blended waste for a year or two. While that may not sound like much, our analysis, based on data from peer-reviewed journal articles and from EnergySolutions itself, is that volume of wastes would include roughly half of the nation's inventory of hotter Class B&C nuclear plant wastes which until now we’ve banned in Utah. That sure sounds like "large-scale" blending to us.

Lastly, if you want more detail about why accepting blended nuclear waste is such a bad idea for Utah, please click here.

And don’t forget to call the Governor at 801-538-1000.

Thanks for taking action to protect Utah,

Matt.

 

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Matt Pacenza

 

Policy Director

 

HEAL Utah

 

matt@healutah.org