Bush Plans to Loosen Rules for Radwaste Disposal

Radioactive waste may be coming soon to a dump near you, brought to you by — you guessed it — the Bush administration. The U.S. EPA is proposing a significant rule change that would let the nuclear industry dispose of low-level radwaste at commonplace dumps and hazardous waste sites that weren’t designed to handle it. The change would affect such radioactive materials as cesium, strontium, cobalt, and plutonium, which now must be stored at nuclear waste sites closely monitored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the EPA, and state governments. Enviros, of course, vehemently oppose the change and charge that the Bush administration is trying to do a favor for the nuclear industry by reducing its waste-disposal costs. The EPA will invite public comment on the proposal beginning today.