Across Appalachia

Judge Rules in Favor of Nuclear Waste Shipments

Date: April 12, 2017

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By Carl Blankenship

In February, a federal judge ruled against a lawsuit filed by a coalition of environmental organizations attempting to prevent liquid nuclear waste from being shipped from Canada to South Carolina.

Carolina Public Press reported that the route for the shipments is unknown and will remain secret as part of federal policy on nuclear waste shipments.

In the opinion, Judge Tanya Chutkan struck down the environmental groups’ attempts to submit evidence and instead relied on the court’s experts, saying there appeared to be differing opinions from specialists.

The decision to eliminate outside evidence prevented the environmental groups from using statements from scientific experts on the issue.

The groups filed the suit in August of 2016 arguing that the Department of Energy should produce an additional Environmental Impact Statement. The plaintiffs wanted the project to be halted until the statement was produced.

Nature, a weekly international science journal, reported the facility originating the waste was responsible for a large portion of the production of a tracer used in medical scans. The facility shut down at the end of 2016.

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