(KCPW News) The battle over nuclear waste in Utah raged on Tuesday as anti-nuclear activists along with representatives of EnergySolutions met before the Utah Radiation Control Board. State regulators have come under scrutiny over a recent decision to allow blended radioactive waste to be buried in Utah. KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports on the state’s reasoning and what environmental activists have to say about it.
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Class A material is Class A material regardless of how it became Class A material. If this is not the case then all radioactive material generated from a nuclear plant would have to have the same classification as a fuel rod since this is where the contamination originated from.
The fact is Class A material is Class A material regardless of how it became Class A material. If this is not the case then all radioactive material generated from a nuclear plant would have to have the same classification as a fuel rod since this is where the contamination originated from. The bottom line is that the Clive site is licensed to deposit Class A material and this is Class A material.
It is important to note that during Clive’s entire history not one person has ever been harmed from the deposing of Class A radioactive material. If HEAL Utah can demonstrate how the depositing of Class A material will harm Utah’s citizens then lets hear it. If not then what is their argument? You must have consequences in order to have regulations. If there is no consequence what are you regulating? I would think if “HEAL Utah…thoroughly researched this issue…” they would realize this.
I suspect HEAL Utah real motivation is to heighten the ‘fear issue’ in order to facilitate a fund raising drive which they need to sustain their staff of paid lobbyist. In other words this is the way that Matt Pacenza of HEAL puts food on his table.
John: We can argue at length about at which point radioactivity becomes dangerous, but I think it wholly uncontroversial that more radioactivity = more risk. And that blended waste, which, yes, would be class A upon disposal, means more radioactivity coming to Utah. A lot more.
How could that endanger the public? Well, there’s the potential for accident during transport, exposure to workers or long-term risk. As you may know, this material stays dangerous for decades. It will be dangerous even after the facility closes. It could easily remain dangerous long after civilization as we know it transforms, and the potential for what is known as an “inadvertent intruder” comes upon the site, and seeks to dig a well, or mine, or build a foundation, or farm, or any series of activities, and comes into contact with the waste.
I would agree that any of those scenarios — accident, exposure, intruder — may not happen. But I’m sure you’d agree there is a chance, greater than 0 percent, that they could happen. There is, undeniably, some risk.
Our position is simple — Utah already takes most of the nation’s nuclear power plant waste, even though we don’t benefit from nuclear power. Is it wholly unreasonable that we spread some of that risk around? That we ask other parts of their county — especially those which benefit from nuclear power — to do their fair share? Isn’t that just good policy?
Reasonable people can disagree about the above. But to assign the motive of “greed” to HEAL or to me personally is fairly laughable. I have bachelors’ and master’s degrees from top educational institutions. I’m 40 years old and have young children and HEAL is paying me thirty-something thousand dollars a year to be an advocate, activist and yes, lobbyist.
In short, if I’m doing this just for the money — so I can pay for that pasta and sausage and carrots I put on my table last night — well, I’m a damn fool. This may be hard to understand, but some of us are motivated by more than money.
“If HEAL Utah can demonstrate how the depositing of Class A material will harm Utah’s citizens then lets hear it.”-John Farmer
Heal Utah’s reply: “I would agree that any…accident, exposure, intruder — may not happen”…blah blah blah however, “…there is, undeniably, some risk.”-Matt Pacenza
Matt I would have thought that since you have “degrees from top educational institutions” that you would realize that saying “there is, undeniable risk” is not the same as demonstrating ie…proving there is a risk to Utah’s citizens from the deposing of Class A material. Since HEAL is unable to show demonstrateable evidence of harm it is thus prudent to rely on the past record of how the Clive site has handled Class A material. As I previously stated, “during Clive’s entire history not one person has ever been harmed from the deposing of Class A radioactive material.” Matt, I ask again what is HEAL argument against the disposal of this waste since you are unable to demonstrate how the deposing of this waste will harm anyone.
“Our (HEAL Utah) position is simple — Utah already takes most of the nation’s nuclear power plant waste, even though we don’t benefit from nuclear power.”-Matt Pacenza policy something or other for HEAL Utah
Matt your position statement is very loose with the facts. I would suspect that your professors from the “top educational institutions” that you attended would have had a field day with the many unproven assumptions that you have put forth.
First, lets deal with the scientific inaccuracies of your statement. The Clive site receives very little of nations nuclear by-product. Properly basing “waste” calculations off of the total amount of radioactivity our fleet of US reactors produce it is evident that the activity of the Class A material that is safely disposed of at Clive site is not even equal to that of a few spent fuel rods. And just so you don’t fear monger this point I remind you that Utah has never had even one fuel rod stored within its borders. Regardless of these facts, since there is no demonstrateable harm from the deposing of Class A material your point lacks standing.
Second, Utah benefits tremendously from the role it plays in the deposing of Class A radioactive material. Matt, just as you relied on HEAL Utah to “pay for that pasta and sausage and carrots” you put on your table last night so did the hundreds of Clive workers rely on Energy Solutions to pay for their own “young children’s” food. Also, our State’s coffers receive millions from income taxes from ES employees. Our coffers also benefit from the fees that ES pays, and the taxes it receives on incoming waste. Tooele County alone would probably have to double their property tax if it were not for the revenue it receives from Energy Solutions.
Finally, I find it very deceitful for you and HEAL to say Utah does not benefit from the production of clean, safe, reliable nuclear power and at the same time know you and HEAL are at the for front of trying to prevent the construction of the Green River nuclear plant. I think it is unconscionable on your part to say we don’t benefit from nuclear power and at same time fight to prevent the creation of the thousands of very good middle class jobs the Green River nuclear project will provide. This deceitfulness runs ramped among anti-nuclear activists like yourself. You guys always stretch the truth and ignore peer-reviewed science. Just because science does not support your anti-nuclear views does not mean you and more importantly the public at large should ignore its conclusions.
To put it simply you are unable to demonstrate the harm that comes from the depositing of Class A material so you must frame your arguments based on fear mongering and innuendo. For, example you insinuated that “Energy Solutions is a multi-billion dollar company” that circumvents the law. First of ES market capitalization is currently at 300 some million. This is not a multi-billion dollar company. Second, Energy Solutions does not circumvent the law. There has been many incidences where ES has in fact self-reported to the Utah’s DRC. These are not the actions of company who in your words circumvents the law.