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Nuclear Waste Public Comment Period Postponed
A report earlier this week raised questions about EnergySolution's Clive, Utah storage site.

Gov. Gary Herbert and state environmental officials agreed Thursday to postpone public comment on a proposal to dispose nuclear waste in western Utah. EnergySolutions, who proposed to dispose of the waste, are asking for more time to respond to concerns after a report came out Monday highlighting areas that regulators say the company has not done enough to address.

Mark Walker, Vice President of Media Relations at EnergySolutions, said that a response from the company will help improve the public comment period once it resumes.

“Rather than trying to answer those questions with a public comment period in place, we felt like it would probably be best if these concerns were addressed,” Walker said. “If they’re addressed properly, which we feel they will be, then the public comment period will still move forward but the immediate concern of these eight issues will be addressed. That will probably comfort the general public more that its science that’s basing these decisions and the science shows that it’s okay.”

Some of the issues raised by the report concern the structural capability of the storage site. Walker said that EnergySolutions will release its official response to the report in the near future.

“We’re working on it quickly. In the coming weeks, the general public will see a response. These concerns can be addressed,” he said. “Once they are, then it will be up to the DRC [Division of Radioactive Control] based on the evaluation, based on the performance assessment, to give approval to our license to dispose and deplete uranium.”

The Governor has stated that he wants the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to weigh in on the issue.