"US Can Label Nuke Waste As Less Dangerous To Quicken Cleanup"

"SPOKANE, Wash. — The U.S. government on Wednesday will reclassify some of the nation’s most dangerous radioactive waste to lower its threat level, outraging critics who say the move would make it cheaper and easier to walk away from cleaning up nuclear weapons production sites in Washington state, Idaho and South Carolina.

The U.S. Department of Energy said labeling some high-level waste as low level will save $40 billion in cleanup costs across the nation’s entire nuclear weapons complex. The material that has languished for decades in the three states would be taken to low-level disposal facilities in Utah or Texas, the agency said.

“This administration is proposing a responsible, results-driven solution that will finally open potential avenues for the safe treatment and removal of the lower level waste,” Energy Undersecretary Paul Dabber said. “This will accelerate cleanup and reduce risk.”"

Nicholas K. Geranios reports for the Associated Press June 5, 2019.

Source: AP, 06/07/2019