Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Play

Connecting health outcomes to climate solutions and lower utility bills, Engagement Center finding success near Boston's troubled 'Mass and Cass' and more protections coming for PA Children's Service providers.

Play

Georgia breaks a state record for early voting, Democrats are one step closer to codifying same-sex marriage, and Arizona county officials refuse to certify the results of the midterm elections.

Play

A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

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

The city-run Engagement Center is a low-barrier day facility, which serves a few hundred people each day from the nearby "Mass and Cass" area, offering everything from bathroom facilities and a clean bed to referrals to drug-treatment facilities, dental care and even writing groups. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Boston's 'Mass and Cass' area, with its large homeless population and open-air drug market, remains a trouble spot for city officials, but staff at …


Social Issues

Maryland's Juvenile Restoration Act has been in effect for more than a year now and its impact has people talking about additional reforms. The act …

Social Issues

Local candidates that signed onto a no-corporate-money pledge made midterm election gains in Charleston. Katie Lauer, co-chair of West Virginia …


Research indicates that the number of women who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury secondary to domestic violence is 11 to 12 times greater than experienced by military personnel and athletes combined. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new statewide initiative aims to help connect domestic-violence survivors with medical providers, with a focus on treating traumatic brain injury…

Environment

A successful program that helps low-income households weatherize homes and lower energy bills is setting its sights on improving the health outcomes o…

According to First Things First, 90% of a child's brain develops before he or she starts kindergarten. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Arizona New Parent Guide is a resource that is intended to help new parents meet the challenges of having a baby and support their baby's health …

Environment

An environmental advocacy group in Virginia has been working to bridge generational gaps. Third Act Virginia began as a group of elder climate …

Social Issues

In just two months, it should be easier for providers of children's services in Pennsylvania's child-welfare and foster-care system to get the …

 

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