Tennessee regulators will not block Italian nuclear waste processing

Saturday, March 15, 2008

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee: Tennessee regulators say there is no "technical reason" to prevent a Utah company from processing nuclear waste from Italy in Tennessee, but political opposition continues to grow.

Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions Inc. wants to bring about 20,000 tons (18,144 metric tons) of waste from shuttered nuclear plants in Italy through the ports of Charleston, South Carolina, or New Orleans, process it in Tennessee and send what's left to a disposal site in Utah.

The plan has drawn widespread opposition from environmental groups and politicians.

But The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the Tennessee Division of Radiological Health has told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the proposed work falls within the company's Tennessee licenses, and that the agency has no jurisdiction over larger questions about importing foreign waste.

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