Foreign Nuclear Waste Could Be Headed To SRS - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Foreign Nuclear Waste Could Be Headed To SRS

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Aiken, SC -

The SRS Citizens Advisory Board met to talk about shipments of uranium that could be headed to the Savannah River Site, but the public also had a chance to give input on the matter, and a lot of them have some concerns.

Tuesday night, the SRS Citizens Advisory Board (SRSCAB) shared their concerns with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) about the possibility of highly enriched uranium being stored in the CSRA, but board members weren't the only ones with concerns.

"Savannah River Site has a huge volume of waste left over from producing plutonium and other materials for nuclear weapons, and the question is, how much more waste is going to come into the site? They are trying to clean up waste now and we don't need an additional waste burden on top of the massive amount that is already at the site, which is 37 million gallons of high level waste," Friends of the Earth Director Tom Clements said.

Clements says he has a problem with the DOE because it hasn't provided enough information about the foreign materials. Some Aiken residents also weighed in on the matter, saying that SRS has a waste problem.

"This stuff is staying here. It's not going anywhere. So, I have a concern to keep adding on. It makes us look like a dump site. It will make our community look like a nuclear dump," Aiken Resident Connie Young said.

Dawn Gillas worked at the Savannah River Site for 16 years, and she says the foreign material is better off being stored there instead of being left overseas.

"The CSRA has a wonderful facility out there at L-Basin that has stored material for years, for decades, safely. There has never been an incident out there," Gillas said.

But, some residents say there has been waste sitting at SRS for 60 years, and they don't want the facility to be a permanent dumping site for nuclear materials.

"They tell me the tanks are only meant to last 50 years, so we have an issue of leaks. And for me that's a problem for our community, the CSRA, as a matter of fact," Young said.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will meet on Thursday to talk about the possibility of the foreign waste being imported into the United States.

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