Nuclear Waste

Every step in the nuclear fuel cycle has affected Utah. And when it comes to nuclear waste, Utah bears the unfortunate honor of being home to the nations largest low-level radioactive waste facility, operated by EnergySolutions.

A History of Waste

HEAL has fought to limit the waste that EnergySolutions (formerly Envirocare) has sought to bring to Utah for more than a decade now. And that’s not the only waste battles that HEAL and Utahns have waged. Let’s not forget the now defeated Private Fuel Storage facility, or even the proposed Yucca Mountain project in neighboring Nevada. Utahns have had their share of the nuclear waste experience.

Our EnergySolutions work, most recently, has zeroed in on stopping the company from bringing Depleted Uranium, waste the company wants to bring to our West Desert that would grow in hazard for more than two million years – long after the site can be safely controlled. Click the below video to find out more about the DU menace.

Prior to that, HEAL worked hard to stop the company from dumping foreign waste in Utah and from increasing the size of their site in Clive, Utah. We also succeeded in getting our State Legislature to pass a ban on hotter “B&C” wastes back in 2005 – a ban that EnergySolutions has repeatedly sought to circumvent, particularly in its bid in recent years to bring “blended” waste to Utah.

HEAL Utah remains dedicated to keeping Utah from being the dumping ground for all the world’s nuclear waste and to keeping a watchful eye on the corporate and government actors determined to continue to target our great state for all their messes.

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Resources

Click above to hear a recent radio piece about our Depleted Uranium fight.

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stop depleted uranium

Safety and Evaluation Report: EnergySolutions and Depleted Uranium

Recent Updates on Nuclear Waste…

Spring Events & An Update!

It’s springtime in Utah, and you never know what you’re gonna get! Sun, rain, snow, or an EnergySolutions proposal to bring Depleted Uranium into our state....

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN...... That's why the HEAL Utah staff is always on alert. Do you want to be informed and involved? Below you’ll find some upcoming events we hope you’ll attend with us, like anEarth Day clean-up, "Do Good Feel Good" Kick-off, and our Annual Spring Breakfast with a special guest host!

HEAL is excited to be putting together some pretty cool events that will bring us right into the summer! You’ll see us collaborating with Mark Miller Subaru on a number of activities in coming months to educate more and more Utahns about our important work and how we can reduce our vehicle emissions and clean the air. We hope you'll join us on one, or all, of these occasions (events posted below).

Additionally, we wanted to fill you in on our campaign work. As you'll see in our updates below - the legislative session may have ended, but there is always more to do in our beloved state and we're tackling issues and keeping our eyes & ears open. From clean air to renewable energy and hazardous waste work, HEAL is staying up to date, analyzing in-depth policy documents, strategizing methods for bringing more renewables online, and building coalitions with the great groups around Utah. Scroll down to look a little more closely what's up our sleeves.

As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out.

With Regards,

-Hannah Whitney | Development Director

Spring Breakfast: Utah’s Changing Climate

Join us for an exciting twist on our 15th Annual Spring Breakfast to jumpstart your Thursday morning (May 17, 7:00-9:00am) and get energized to stand behind HEAL during the challenging campaigns ahead. Doug Fabrizio of Radio West will engage in a conversation with three remarkable female legislators about the evolving perceptions of air quality, climate change and energy use in Utah.

RSVP Here »

Do Good Feel Good Kickoff at Mountain West Cider

Our partners at Mark Miller Subaru like to do good, and we know you do too! In honor of their 11th year raising money for nonprofits like HEAL, we invite you to join us in celebrating this Do Good Feel Good event, Tuesday, May 1, 5:30-7:00pm. Enjoy light refreshments, beverages and learn about how HEAL can benefit from people purchasing Subaru’s during the month of May! Registration required.

RSVP Here »


Dimple Dell Park Earth Day Cleanup

We recognize Earth Day EVERY DAY by working hard to clean the air, promote renewable energy and protect Utah from nuclear and toxic threats. Help us celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up Dimple Dell Regional Park with the HEAL staff, starting at the Wrangler Trailhead on Saturday, April 21, 9:30am-noon. Please read all volunteer instructions and RSVP HERE so we can report our group size to the event organizers.

More Info Here »


Here's a quick update on HEAL's other campaigns.

CLEAN ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE

◘ Assess how Utah can more rapidly transition from coal to renewable electricity generationwhile benefiting ratepayers, utility companies, coal-dependent communities and, most importantly, the global climate.

◘ Monitor the implementation andimpacts of the recent rooftop solar settlement.

◘ Develop specific climate change criteria and principles to evaluate how Utah’s public policies align with the Concurrent Resolution On Environmental And Economic Stewardship (HCR 007) passed in 2018 by the Utah Legislature.

HAZARDOUS WASTE

◘ Closely monitor and actively oppose EnergySolutions’ permit request to begin importing long-lived radioactive waste (known as depleted uranium) into Utah for disposal. Unlike the low-level Class A radioactive waste ES currently brings in, this material continues to increase in radioactivity for millions of years. 

◘ Analyze the risk, benefits and costs of the proposed Small Modular Reactor (SMR) projectbeing promoted for subscription by many of Utah’s cities and towns by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS). If it proceeds, this would result the first use of nuclear power in Utah and result in high-level radioactive waste being stored right across the border in Idaho.

CLEAN AIR

◘ Working with legislators and other advocacy groups to lay the groundwork for a package of air quality bills for the 2019 legislative session.

◘ Conducting a review of air quality data to more precisely identify gaps in information, trends, and opportunities for improvement.

◘ Developing specific air quality criteria and smart growth principles to use in evaluating major development proposals, such as the prison site in Draper and the Inland Port. 

Read more...

COMMENTARY: Utah should take down its ‘Waste is Welcome’ sign

Scott Williams
Salt Lake Tribune
March 10th, 2018

This session, the Utah Legislature passed three bills to make EnergySolutions “more competitive” in the nuclear waste and nuclear power plant decommissioning business. In other words, Utah just hung out a sign that says “Your Waste is Welcome Here”.

HB169 would shift $1.7 million of EnergySolutions business costs to Utah taxpayers. This is the amount of regulatory fees previously paid by EnergySolutions, a company with a half-billion dollars in annual revenues. These fees cover the cost of state permitting and inspections required at the nuclear waste dump west of the Great Salt Lake. They claim that their half-billion dollar company needs Utah taxpayers to pick-up these costs in order to become “more competitive”.

SJR11 would authorize EnergySolutions to create a new landfill where they can dump non-nuclear waste. This allows them to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for dumping nuclear power plant waste and secure the entire decommissioning contract.

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Read the full article here

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Help Stop A Bad Bill: Urge Gov to Veto HB169

 

The legislative session is over, but there is still a fight to be had. And we at HEAL need YOUR help!

HB169: Commercial Waste Fee Amendments sailed through both the House and the Senate and now it's waiting on the Governors desk. Right now, we need you to ask him to VETO this horrible bill.

So, why is this bill so bad? HB169 aims to shift $1.7 million of EnergySolutions business costs to Utah taxpayers. TO YOU AND ME! These fees cover the cost of state permitting and inspections required at the nuclear waste dump west of the Great Salt Lake. EnergySolutions claims that their half-billion dollar company needs Utah taxpayers to pick-up these costs in order to become “more competitive.” Is this where you want your hard-earned tax dollars going? Not me. I refuse to accept that our elected officials see Utah as a dumping ground for nuclear waste that we don't even generate here. That's right, Laura, we don't even generate nuclear power (subsequently waste) in this state. Why should our taxpayer money help a private industry bring more toxic waste into Utah!?

Will you help me by signing this action alert and sharing it with your networks? We’ve it easy for you, just copy http://healutah.org/vetohb169 and paste it into your social media feeds asking your friends and family to sign it too. 

There isn’t much time, Gov. Herbert can sign this into law anytime between NOW and March 29th.Please don’t let this opportunity slip by. We need your support. Tell Gov. Herbert to Veto HB169.

Need More Info? Check out my recently published Op-Ed on the subject. Click Here »

Thank you for your time and energy.

In Community,

Scott Williams | Executive Director

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