No Nuke Waste Facility Exansion: EnergySolutions concedes to HEAL!

Hot off the press from HEAL Utah:

Today, at the eleventh hour, EnergySolutions conceded to HEAL Utah and backed out of our legal challenge of the company’s expansion plans.

Rather than face oral arguments before the Utah Supreme Court tomorrow, EnergySolutions has instead withdrawn its request to double in size. (This means there will be no oral arguments heard tomorrow, so please do not plan on attending. While we would’ve relished the opportunity to hear our appeal argued in person, the strength of our case has spoken for itself).

In the past two years, EnergySolutions has submitted two separate requests to double the size of its nuclear waste dump. Governor Huntsman negotiated the withdrawal of the proposal to stack nuclear waste twice as high two weeks ago and today our legal action has forced the company to withdraw its proposal to expand onto new land.

This is a major victory for the people of Utah. Because of the financial support of many of you over the past 20 months, we have been able to stand up to EnergySolutions’ limitless resources and stop an unlawful expansion of nuclear waste that would’ve doubled the landfill.

We can’t fully express our gratitude for the support of our members and the hard work of our legal team who argued this case all the way to the state Supreme Court.

When we began this lawsuit nearly two years ago, we had two major goals in mind: 1) stop an expansion at EnergySolutions that would’ve left Utah the dumping ground for the nation’s nuclear waste for the next 50-100 years and, 2) force the Division of Radiation Control to follow its own regulations when approving nuclear waste expansions.

While the Supreme Court will not make a formal ruling on our appeal, today we have accomplished both of our goals: we’ve forced EnergySolutions’ to officially abandon its plans to double in size and the company has conceded it will comply with the application process articulated by HEAL in our appeal the next time it tries to expand.

EnergySolutions will spin this concession as another goodwill gesture resulting from their agreement with Governor Huntsman. But in fact, the company has been pursuing this expansion despite an announcement by Gov. Huntsman 16 months ago that he would not approve it. In delaying their decision to withdraw until now, EnergySolutions has shown incredible disrespect not only to the public, but to the Supreme Court and other members of the judiciary that devoted time and resources to a matter that could’ve been resolved many months ago.

Make no mistake: EnergySolutions will be back. But for now we can claim victory knowing that today’s outcome means all of EnergySolutions’ nuclear waste expansion plans are officially off the table.

Thank you again for all of your support in this effort,

John Urgo
HEAL Utah, Outreach Director
68 S. Main St, Suite 400
SLC, UT 84101
(801) 355-5055

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