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Donald Trump’s administration’s plan to reclassify nuclear wastes is unacceptable to Washington State 

Trump administration wants to reclassify leaking nuclear waste to avoid cleaning it up, say officials

‘This is unacceptable, and we will not stand by while this administration plans to abandon its responsibility to clean up their mess’, Independent UK Josh GabbatissScience Correspondent @josh_gabbatiss   ( AP ) 13 Jan 19, 

Donald Trump‘s administration has been accused of trying to downplay the danger of nuclear waste so it can “abandon its responsibility to clean up their mess”.

A federal government plan to reclassify this waste as less dangerous has been fiercely criticised by officials in Washington state, who said the move would allow it to walk away from its responsibility to clean up millions of gallons of toxic, radioactive material.

The state is home to the Hanford nuclear site which houses the nation’s largest collection of nuclear waste, left over from atomic bomb production. There are the 177 ageing underground tanks stored at the site containing the most dangerous material – some of which are leaking.

Amid fears much of the waste will be left in the ground, earlier this week, Washington state filed its objections to the US Department of Energy. These were accompanied by a letter from the state’s Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The US Department of Energy is seeking to reclassify a large percentage of the waste as lower-level waste. That would allow treatment and disposal options that would not guarantee long-term protections.

At present the government is obliged to keep the waste safely in a “deep geological repository”, but if it was reclassified there would be no such obligation. Critics are concerned this could mean that the was allowed to reside in areas in which it posed a threat.

“This dangerous idea will only serve to silence the voices of tribal leaders, Hanford workers, public safety officials, and surrounding communities in these important conversations,” said Mr Inslee, a Democrat who is considering a presidential run in 2020. “This is unacceptable, and we will not stand by while this administration plans to abandon its responsibility to clean up their mess.” ……..

The proposed measure would also cover other waste disposal facilities in places like South Carolina and Idaho, and could be implemented without the approval of Congress. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/nuclear-waste-trump-radioactive-washington-state-hanford-atomic-bombs-a8719021.html

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January 14, 2019 - Posted by | general

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