SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline)-Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff this week filed a petition to block a company from importing nuclear waste from Italy.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering a proposal by Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions Inc. to import radioactive waste from reactors in Italy.
The company wants to process the Italian radioactive materials at a site in Tennessee and then store up to 1,600 tons of leftover waste at its dump site about 70 miles west of Salt Lake City.
Under the proposal, the waste would enter the United States through either a port in Louisiana or South Carolina.
Shurtleff, a Republican, is asking federal regulators to deny the company's license application to import nuclear waste.
"The high public interest in this issue is one reason the Commission should allow the state of Utah to intervene," the petition said.
In the petition filed Tuesday, the attorney general said that allowing the company to import nuclear waste and store it in the Beehive State could mean "economic harm" for Utah.
The group Healthy Environment Alliance is also opposed to the project.
"Utah should not have to take the nuclear garbage Italy does not want," the group's John Urgo said at a state Capitol news conference.
"Utah has been burdened enough," he added.
Shurtleff's petition comes as U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, is pushing legislation that would ban foreign-generated nuclear waste from entering the United States.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.