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Nuke waste shipment could come to Nevada

RENO — A shipment of 9,400 drums of depleted uranium oxide could be headed to Nevada.

The U.S. Department of Energy is considering a plan to send the radioactive waste from the Savannah River cleanup site in South Carolina to the Nevada National Security Site, formerly known as the Nevada Test Site, state officials said.

“We didn’t request for the waste to come here. That’s DOE’s decision about where to send it,” said Vinson Guthreau, spokesman for the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

DOE spokeswoman Jen Stutsman said her agency is considering its options for disposal of the waste but hasn’t reached a decision. She declined to identify specific sites under consideration. The Nevada site has long accepted low-level waste from around the country.

Stutsman also declined to comment on an Oct. 11 report by Radwaste Monitor, a nuclear industry trade publication, that DOE wants to permanently dispose of the material at the Nevada site about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

“We hope to reach a decision soon,” she said.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the first of three planned shipments of depleted uranium from South Carolina was sent to EnergySolutions landfill in Clive, Utah, in December. That shipment involved more than 5,400 drums of the waste.

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