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[greenyes] No radioactive waste in landfills

GRRN is teaming up with Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)
to oppose a plan from the EPA and Nuclear Regulatory Commission to
further deregulate radioactive waste from weapons production and nuclear
power generation, that could result in materials going into MSW
landfills, incinerators, or recycling facilities not intended, designed
or regulated for radioactivity.

In brief, from Diane D'Arrigo at NIRS

The US Environmental Protection Agency is planning to make a new rule
that would allow nuclear waste to go to places that are not licensed for
radioactive materials.
(68 FR 22:65120-65151, Nov 18, 2003)

The goal appears to be to redefine radioactive materials, no matter what
their source (nuclear power, nuclear weapons, naturally occurring or
other), based on EPA-calculated and projected risks. The new category of
nuclear materials (dubbed Below Regulatory Concern in 1986) would
supposedly not need radioactive regulatory controls. EPA does not
consider all the potential health effects of radiation and hazardous
materials in estimating the risks. They have never demonstrated the
accuracy of their predictions.

1) First, EPA would allow mixed radioactive and hazardous wastes to go
to facilities permitted for hazardous waste only (RCRA C hazardous waste
dumps and processors).

2) Second, radioactive waste (not mixed with hazardous) could be
permitted to go to places that do not have radioactive licenses or
regulations, such as regular garbage dumps or incinerators or hazardous
sites. Since it would no longer be regulated for radioactivity, it could
go to regular recyclers. EPA justifies this by claiming they will
provide an acceptable level of protection, even though many sites
already leak.

Comments due to EPA by MAY 17, 2004 (note deadline extended)
Email to: a-and-r-Docket@no.address Attn: Docket OAR-2003-0095

For more extensive information on this proposal and to send your
comments to the EPA, visit
<> and click on the radioactive waste action

David Wood
Executive Director, GrassRoots Recycling Network
Organizing Director, Computer TakeBack Campaign
210 N. Bassett St., Suite 200
Madison WI 53703
608-255-4800, ext. 100
608-347-7043 (cell)

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