Executive Document

Governor's Executive Order: Creating a Task Force to Oppose Nuclear Waste Siting.

Issued: April 15, 1997


Creating a Task Force to Oppose Nuclear Waste Siting

Whereas, our state faces the threat of becoming the nation's dumping ground for high level nuclear waste; and

Whereas, Utahns don't generate nuclear power and don't consume nuclear power; and

Whereas, our state is being seriously considered as a storage site for more than 200,000 rods of spent nuclear waste; and

Whereas, nearly a dozen major utilities, most of them on the east coast, need a place to dump high level nuclear waste, which is a byproduct of the power they generate; and

Whereas, the ratepayers of these major utilities are not willing to store something this dangerous in their backyards, so these companies are willing to pay a very high price to move it to Utah; and

Whereas, some of Utah's Goshute Indians propose building concrete containers and storing nuclear waste from all over the country in the Utah desert, 40 miles west of the Wasatch Front, thus making Utah a nuclear dumping ground ten times the size of any facility of this type anywhere in the entire United States; and

Whereas, building the biggest nuclear waste graveyard in the country is not a good quality of life decision for anyone in Utah; and

Whereas, the nuclear waste that would be brought to Utah doesn't last one year or 20 years, or 100 years, but remains lethally radioactive for 10,000 years. If nuclear waste comes to Utah, chances are it won't be moved again; and

Whereas, train and truck accidents do happen, containers do break, and human lives could well be at risk;

Now, Therefore, I, Michael O. Leavitt, Governor of the State of Utah, do hereby order the following:

1. Create a multi-agency task force that will do everything possible to block storage of high level nuclear waste in Utah.

2. The task force shall be led by the Executive Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

3. The task force shall be charged with researching and communicating all risks to all decision makers in this process, and coordinating all other efforts by the state to oppose the siting of nuclear waste in Utah; including the following:

* Letters will be sent immediately to the President, the Skull Valley Goshutes, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Congress, the nuclear waste proprietors and others notifying them of the state's opposition, and appealing for other alternatives.

* The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be petitioned for standing to intervene in the regulatory process if and when a license application is officially submitted.

* The state will actively oppose the license application and will seek complete and exhaustive reviews, and reconsideration and appeals if necessary.

* All possible evaluations of the site will be undertaken, including an Environmental Impact Statement.

* The fallacy of the term "temporary facility" will be exposed.

4. This Executive Order shall be in force until rescinded.

In Testimony, Thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and cause to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Utah this 15th day of April, 1997.

(State Seal)

Michael O. Leavitt


Olene S. Walker
Lt. Governor


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