NRC approves nuke-waste dump on Utah Indian reservation
This week, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed the nation’s largest — and only private — radioactive-waste storage facility, to be located on the (prophetically named?) Skull Valley Goshute Reservation in Utah. It’s a major win for the nuclear industry, which desperately needs a dump site for spent fuel rods piling up at power plants around the country. And supporters within the Goshute tribe, which will lease the land, say it will provide jobs and much-needed revenue to spend on decent housing, health care, and more. But environmentalists, some tribe members, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. (R), and the state’s entire congressional delegation are up in arms over the deal. They say the site — a valley immediately beneath the low-altitude flight path of 7,000 F-16 jets a year, next to a chemical and biological weapons proving ground, and 40 miles immediately upwind of Salt Lake City — is much too risky a place to store nuclear waste in aboveground casks.