Saturday, April 17, 2004

Suit threatened over Fernald waste

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CROSBY TWP. - Nevada has upped the ante in its attempt to keep radioactive waste from three Fernald silos out of a landfill near Las Vegas.

The Nevada attorney general, who wrote a letter Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Energy threatening to file a federal lawsuit to stop shipments of Fernald silos waste to the Nevada Test Site, filed a petition Thursday seeking emergency action from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The petition asks the regulatory agency tell the energy department it can't dispose of the waste in Nevada.

The nuclear regulatory group regulates, or enters into agreements with states to regulate, low-level nuclear repositories. The first shipments of silos waste from the $4 billion Fernald cleanup is to begin next month.

Bob Loux, director of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects for the governor's office, said the idea of shipping Fernald silos waste to the Nevada Test Site "is illegal for a half-dozen reasons."

Nevada's main argument is the waste is radioactive uranium combined with a soup of other hazardous materials such as lead, arsenic and selenium. That mixture requires a disposal site with lined trenches to keep the materials from leaching into ground water and a monitoring program to make sure drinking water isn't contaminated.

The Nevada Test Site has neither of those features, Loux said.

Joe Davis, a DOE spokesman, did not return repeated phone calls Friday. He said earlier in the week that the agency will move forward with its plan to ship the waste to Nevada, but would not say if that means the radioactive material will be removed from the silos on schedule even if there is no place to send it.

NRC spokesman Dave McIntyre said Friday it is unclear how quickly his agency can respond to Nevada's request.

"This is very unusual," he said.

Loux said the state will seek a court injunction to stop the shipments if the nuclear regulatory commission can't or won't act on the matter. Nevada has given the DOE until April 30 to respond.



Hope eases horror for community
Area's mood turns hopeful
POW status could be a good thing
Enquirer editorial: Prayers for Private Maupin
• Photos: A family, and a community, react
• Video coverage from WCPO Video icon

Holocaust events look at prejudice
Job fits her like a tailored suit

County: Pay up, or walk
E-check relief depends on area
Suit threatened over Fernald waste
Freedom Center sets debut date
Focus: uninsured
Trial over, Norwood waits
Former Springboro cop wants charges in '95 slaying dismissed
3-year-old dies of fire injuries
Norwood woman dies after being hit by van

Marine killed in Iraq was man of 'faith and dreams'
Stars align behind Clooney
Professor addresses Holocaust
Jail's trailer leaving soon
Tina Conner loses appeal in Patton case

La Salle transforms gym into Caribbean island
Students dismayed at fund cut
Student charged with assault in beating on bus
Delhi kids promise to turn TV off for one week

Residents seek to slow growth
Developer reassessing
Miami U. project: Appalachian music
College Hill intersection protection extended
Little League debuts today
Water tower must go
Ohio Supreme Court to convene in Batavia

Reds lose a fan, Helen Unger, 99
Sister Antonia Marie Vilt, wartime nurse