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Kempthorne met Hatch but not tribe on nuclear dump

The Interior Department refused to consult the Skull Valley Band of Goshutes before rejecting the Utah tribe's proposal to build nuclear waste dump.

Spokesperson Shane Wolfe said there was no requirement in federal law to consult the tribe or its partner. But Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne did meet with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) two months before the decision to deny the lease was made [PDF].

The rulings, from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Land Management, cited the department's trust responsibility. But Chairman Leon Bear was surprised that the tribe wasn't contacted.

The tribe and Private Fuel Storage, a group of private utility companies, want to store up to 40,000 tons of nuclear waste on a portion of the reservation. Their lease runs for 20 years with the option of renewal.

Federal law requires the federal government to store nuclear waste but the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is far behind schedule.

Get the Story:
Hatch jawboned N-dump decision (The Salt Lake Tribune 9/9)
Nuke-dump backers ponder their next move (The Salt Lake Tribune 9/9)
Decision to deny PFS lease shocks 2 (The Deseret Morning News 9/9)
Interior Department Rejects Interim Plan for Nuclear Waste (The New York Times 9/9)

Relevant Links:
Skull Valley Goshute Tribe - http://www.skullvalleygoshutes.org
Private Fuel Storage - http://www.privatefuelstorage.com

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