Nuclear waste comes with undeniable threats to our health and environment. And, despite the fact that the state has never used or produced the nuclear power that generates nuclear waste, Utah is repeatedly proposed as the dumping ground for the nation’s nuclear waste, which is radioactive, for decades and often longer — much longer.
HEAL fights to limit the nuclear waste that companies, like EnergySolutions, bring to Utah. Our battles against such large, multi-million dollar waste-dumping corporations can take many forms — from collaborating with legislators to ban higher-level wastes (like Class B and C waste) to writing technical comments on disposal permit requests and gathering public voices to express opposition to certain types of waste. In the end, our goal remains the same: to protect Utahns and our environment from the burdens and long-lasting risks of nuclear waste.
EnergySolutions is trying — again — to bring a type of radioactive waste known as depleted uranium (DU) to Utah.
At HEAL, we call DU the Trojan Horse of nuclear waste: it rolls in as low-level waste with the promise of jobs and tax revenue for Utah but becomes more radioactive over time leaving us with a forbidden zone forever. It is technically allowed in the state through a classification loophole, but it will eventually be much more toxic than the types of nuclear waste currently banned in the state (Class B and C waste). This means that DU creates risks that will last generations far beyond our own. To stop DU from coming to Utah, we are consulting with experts on the technical parts of EnergySolutions’ proposal and amplifying public voices to ask Governor Gary Herbert to ban DU from Utah entirely. Learn more about DU, including EnergySolutions recent actions to try and take more advantage of this loophole, here.