California To Accept Radioactive Waste

Sacramento, Calif. -- California officials have announced plans to allow shipment of radioactive waste debris to landfills that are not designed to safely store the material.

Under a policy finalized in November by the state Department of Health Services, dirt and debris from decommissioned nuclear power plants and other facilities can be disposed of without the oversight, licensing and monitoring that normally are associated with radioactive waste.

The Committee to Bridge the Gap is suing the state over its new disposal policy, but a state radiologic health official says that a provision of federal law allows disposal of radioactive debris and soil from decommissioned nuclear sites in landfills.

The policy was created as a result of an abandoned plan to open a nuclear waste dump at Ward Valley in the Mojave Desert. Throughout the state, at least six power plants and laboratory sites currently are ready for decommissioning.