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Opposition to High-Level Nuclear Waste


Utah Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Dianne R. Nielson is spearheading opposition to high level nuclear waste in Utah.

In the Executive Order, former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt created the Task Force Opposing High Level Nuclear Waste. Dr. Nielson is Chair of the Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of various State Department and Office Directors, and their staff, who have the expertise needed in this opposition.

On November 8, 2005 Utah petitioned the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal for review of the NRC licensing proceeding.

Since 1997 Utah has been actively engaged in opposing PFS’s license application before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Utah’s comments on whether the Commission should immediately issue PFS a license to store spent nuclear fuel provide a general overview of Utah’s criticism of the application.  To date, no license has been issued.

In the licensing proceeding before the NRC, Utah’s opposition to the PFS license application has been based on serious safety concerns, including the following questions which have not been answered to Utah’s satisfaction:

(Note: Only publicly available documents are posted.  Based on NRC rules, many documents in the PFS proceeding have been withheld from the public.)

  1. Will the storage casks retain their integrity if hit by an F-16 or bomb?
  2. Will the Department of Energy collect fuel stored at the PFS site?
  3. Will the PFS site be a target for suicide mission terrorism?
  4. Will it be feasible for PFS to safely conduct operations based on modifications to the generic cask design?


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