Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Interior Department Rejects Fission Waste on Reservation

The Department of the Interior (DOI) has blocked an interim nuclear waste storage facility on the Goshute Indian Reservation, 50 miles west of Salt Lake City, Utah. DOI is blocking the facility because they believe it will be a permanent, instead of interim, repository. DOI doubts Yucca Mountain, the official permanent repository, will ever be completed in Nevada. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) granted a 25-year operating license to Private Fuel Storage, a consortium of eight utilities at the beginning of this year. The waste would be stored aboveground in casks, above left, on 800 acres on the reservation.

The Interior Department considers itself to be acting as a “prudent” trustee of Indian lands, or a well-meaning overseer for the evidently viewed as hapless Skull Valley Goshute Indians. Although divided, the Goshute approved this project. DOI is thwarting their will and violating their sovereignty. The division revolves around jobs and sovereignty versus respecting Mother Earth. Many non-Indians, including elected officials, oppose the interim repository, possibly because their share of the income was insufficient.

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