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March 24, 2004
Gregoire Criticizes DOE Shipment Plans

OLYMPIA -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire today criticized plans by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to import out-of-state nuclear waste to Hanford.

"There should be no more shipments to Hanford until waste improperly stored at the site is cleaned up," Gregoire said. "Until DOE has demonstrated the commitment and capacity to clean up the contamination already at Hanford, they should not ship additional waste."

Gregoire's remarks were in response to an announcement Wednesday by DOE that it plans to ship more than 80,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste to Hanford from sites around the nation.

"We want to do our part in helping solve the national problem of nuclear waste disposal, but not if it means compounding the already massive contamination at Hanford," Gregoire said.

Gregoire credited DOE with pledging to stop the disposal of waste in unlined trenches. She remains critical, however, of the agency's failure to adequately explain why this waste should come to Hanford and its refusal to engage in a national discussion on nuclear waste clean up and shipment.

"Washington should not bear a disproportionate burden for nuclear waste disposal," Gregoire said.


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