Monday, September 20, 2021

Play

The American Rescue Plan could provide essential training to boost jobs in construction, and we explore a trauma-informed approach to preventing marijuana use in teens.

Play

Pfizer says its vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11, travel restrictions soon will ease for vaccinated international visitors to the U.S., and a Texas doctor who performed an abortion under new restrictions is sued.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

NRC Proposes Allowing Nuclear Waste at Dumps, Recycling Sites

Play

Monday, April 6, 2020   

BOISE, Idaho -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission may change its rules to allow the nuclear industry to dump some of its waste in landfills.

Opponents say the change poses a public health risk and would allow waste to go unmonitored.

The proposal would enable the NRC to reinterpret the meaning of low-level radioactive waste so that it could be accepted at dumps and hazardous waste sites, rather than regulated storage facilities.

Daniel Hirsch is president of Committee to Bridge the Gap, an organization that focuses on nuclear safety. He says a dump site in Idaho would benefit from this change.

"In addition to the waste potentially going to everyone's municipal landfill, the real focus of this is to allow the U.S. Ecology facility in Idaho to -- without a license -- start taking the material that up until today you're required to have a license for," he points out.

On Friday, the public comment period was extended from April 20 to July 20. But Hirsch and other opponents say the COVID-19 pandemic isn't allowing for proper scrutiny of the rule. They want it picked back up six months after the coronavirus crisis is over.

Diane D'Arrigo, radioactive waste project director for the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, says the change would allow the industry to dispose of any waste other than irradiated fuel at landfills. That includes concrete, soil, clothing or any material where radiation still exists. The limit would be 25 millirem per year, a unit of absorbed radiation.

D'Arrigo says the change poses a big public health risk.

"There's some so-called low-level waste that could give a lethal dose in 15 minutes if you're exposed unshielded,"
she point out. "So 'low level' has been a misnomer for a very long time."

Terry Lodge, an attorney who works on nuclear safety issues, says the industry has been working for this change for decades because of the cost of disposing waste at radioactive-storage facilities.

"The utilities build the expense of disposing of the waste into their electrical charges to us customers," he points out. "So it's not as though they don't have the money. But there is a relentless search for quick and dirty solutions."


get more stories like this via email

This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)

Environment

MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…


Environment

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …


The Nature Conservancy says the U.S. loses nearly 1 million acres of forest lands each year through development and other factors, reducing nature's ability to capture and store carbon dioxide. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

DULUTH, Minn. - As Minnesota looks to address the impact of climate change on the region, land managers and policymakers are reminded of the role …

Health and Wellness

By Savanna Strott for Eye on Ohio, The Ohio Center for Journalism Broadcast version by Emily Scott for Ohio News Connection. COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio …

According to the CDC, around 181 million Americans have received COVID-19 vaccinations. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- One in five unvaccinated Kentuckians say they are open to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll from the …

Health and Wellness

HELENA, Mont. - It can be hard for people with disabilities to afford the assistive technology they need to perform daily activities. A program in …

Social Issues

LA CONNER, Wash. - The exhibit of an artist who depicted the lives of farmworkers in northwest Washington has been recognized for its quality…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021