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.
At HEAL, we call depleted uranium (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. While DU starts off as low-level waste, 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.
For over a decade, EnergySolutions has tried to bring DU to the state. To stop DU from coming to Utah, we have been consulting with experts on the technical parts of EnergySolutions’ proposal and amplifying public voices to ask the Utah Governor to ban DU from Utah entirely. We also push against any bills at the Utah state legislature that would influence the regulatory decision to bring DU into the state. Learn more about DU, including EnergySolutions recent actions to try and take more advantage of this loophole, here.