Agency could keep Three Mile Island nuclear debris in Idaho

ABC News | 9/16/2019 | Staff
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The partially melted reactor core from the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history could remain in Idaho for another 20 years if regulators finalize a license extension sought by the U.S. Energy Department, officials said Monday.

The core from Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania partially melted in 1979, an event that changed the way Americans view nuclear technology.

US - Nuclear - Regulatory - Commission - Impact

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined there would be no significant impact from extending the license to store the core at the 890-square-mile (2,305-square-kilometer) site that includes Idaho National Laboratory.

"No significant radiological or non-radiological impacts are expected from continued normal operations," the commission said about its finding.

Agency - Safety - Evaluation - Report - License

The agency would also have to complete a safety evaluation report before renewing the license. Commission spokesman David McIntyre said that will likely happen in the next several days.

Holly Harris, executive director of the Idaho-based nuclear watchdog group Snake River Alliance, wasn't immediately available to comment.

Energy - Department - Site - Sits - Eastern

The Energy Department site sits atop the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer, a Lake Erie-size underground body of water that supplies cities and farms in the region with water.

The new license would be good through 2039, four years past a deadline the Energy Department initially set with Idaho to remove the radioactive waste.

State - Officials - Waste - Idaho - Deadline

State and federal officials say the waste could still be shipped out of Idaho ahead of the 2035 deadline and would not affect...
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