US congress only hope to stop imports to America of radioactive waste: NRC

Publish date: October 16, 2009

WASHINGTON — Witnesses told a House committee Friday that its up to Congress to stop other countries from shipping their radioactive waste to the United States, the Associated Press reported.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) official Margaret Doane told lawmakers that her agency has no choice but to permit private companies to import waste, so long as they meet safety and security standards and there’s an appropriate place to put it, AP reported.

At issue is 20,000 tons of low-level radioactive waste from Italy’s nuclear reactor cleanups that a US company wants to process in Tennessee and then bury in Utah, said the agency.

It’s the most waste the NRC has ever been asked to allow into the country. Doane said there are also applications to import waste from Brazil and Mexico for disposal in Utah, according to AP.