This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Re "Blended waste decision is weeks away, regulator says" (Tribune, Aug. 3):
I recently attended a shocking, discouraging forum for public comment at the Division of Radiation Control hearing on EnergySolutions' application to allow "down-blended" radioactive waste to be buried at its Clive facility. Blended waste means mixing very radioactive waste with lower-grade acceptable radioactive waste until it qualifies at the very highest "class A" level (classes B and C are banned at the Tooele County site).
Gov. Gary Herbert was against blended waste it's a way for EnergySolutions to bypass Utah's strong laws banning hotter. If this new waste is accepted, we will have a significant, unwanted increase in total radioactivity at Clive.
Interestingly, a man from a competing radioactive material disposal site in Texas passionately asked Utah to follow federal guidelines and not allow disposal of radioactive material that Texas cannot accept. He was surprised Utah allows burial mounds; his site's burial is all underground.
Both federal and state regulations require a full technical review before this change is made. Nevertheless, I got the strong impression that EnergySolutions' application will be approved at the next meeting.
Without public attention, a horrible decision will probably be made.
Salt Lake City