posted on Sep, 10 2005 @ 07:47 AM
taken from www.reuters.com
US agency approves private nuclear-waste facility
Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:02 AM BST170
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Friday approved a private firm's plan to store tens of thousands of tonnes nuclear waste above the ground
on an American Indian reservation in Utah.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted the license to Private Fuel Storage to store the radioactive waste on the reservation of the Skull Valley
Band of Goshute Indians, about 50 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.
The commission's approval of the Utah facility comes as the government has delayed action on its disputed plan to dump nuclear waste beneath Yucca
Mountain in the Nevada desert.
Federal regulators had hoped the Nevada waste site would be open in 2010, but strong opposition from state officials and environmental groups has
forced an indefinite delay.
In its latest order, the commission rejected claims made in appeals by Utah officials that there is a risk of radioactive leaks in the event of a
According to the state, there are some 7,000 F-16 fighter-jet flights a year over the facility from nearby Hill Air Force Base.
The nuclear commission said safety and environmental reviews had given it "reasonable assurance that (the proposed facility) can be constructed and
The above-ground facility would use up to 4,000 NRC-approved storage casks, each of which can hold up to 10 tonnes of spent fuel. The special casks
consist of a steel canister in which the fuel is stored, and another layer of steel and concrete.
Operation of the nuclear-waste storage facility faces other regulatory hurdles, the NRC said. The Bureau of Indian Affairs must approve a lease
between Private Fuel Storage and the tribe, and the Bureau of Land Management must approve plans to build and operate a rail line on the facility.