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E-M:/ Radioactive Waste Plan Attacked EPA Suggests Storing Low-Level Material in Landfills



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Enviro-Mich message from Ishgooda <ishgooda@voyager.net>
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Radioactive Waste Plan Attacked EPA Suggests Storing Low-Level Material in Landfills

By Eric Pianin Washington Post Staff Writer 
Tuesday, November 18, 2003; Page A23
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54507-2003Nov17.html

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering an important rule change that for the first time would allow the nuclear industry to store low-level radioactive material in ordinary landfills and hazardous waste sites.

The agency today will formally invite public comment on its plan to "promote a more consistent framework" for the disposal of the waste, including such low-yielding radioactive materials as cesium, strontium, cobalt and plutonium. Currently, those materials must be stored in nuclear waste sites closely regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the EPA and state governments.

EPA officials stressed that the waste under review contains only small amounts of radioactive material and that any loosening of rules would not affect the carefully monitored handling of lethal spent nuclear fuel, high-level radioactive waste, or tailings from the processing of uranium or thorium ore.

"The important principle is that any facility that might accept 'low-activity' [nuclear] waste must provide protection of public health and the environment that is comparable to the protection provided by EPA and NRC standards for other radioactive wastes," according to an EPA statement.
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