Letter: Nuclear waste is safe

Published: Monday, April 2 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

A photographer captures the radiation tag on a 399 foot-long trailer assembly which will haul the retired steam generator component from The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Onofre, Calif. on July 26, 2011. A massive 192-wheel trailer will make four trips this year to haul old steam generator parts from the California nuclear power plant to Utah for disposal.

AP Photo/Orange County Register, Jebb Harris

Enlarge photo»

I take issue with Mary Paul's letter opining against the approved disposal of blended nuclear waste by EnergySolutions in Utah as somehow degrading Utah's ability to develop a "safe and inviting environment" ("Say no, or we glow," Readers' Forum, March 28). Many people seem to have an irrational, emotional response to anything nuclear, be it power generation, medicine or waste storage.

It is my understanding that nuclear waste as stored in Utah is solidified, containerized and stored in large burial pits that are clay lined and monitored. As a desert is arid, co-mingling with ground water or rain is minimized and the chance of thermal heating sufficient to create sufficient steam in the form of an explosion to spread contaminated matter is non-existent.

I suggest that the Division of Radiation Control has rationally considered the matter and has made a proper decision. I think that factors impeding the development of a "safe and inviting environment" include the recent number of gang-related robberies and shootings and our inability to somehow co-exist safely with UTA transportation vehicles.

David R. Shorten

Salt Lake City

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