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Panel Selects Nebraska for Nuclear Dump Site

December 15, 1987

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Representatives of five states today picked Nebraska as the site of a new disposal facility for low-level nuclear waste.

The Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission voted 4-1 to pick Nebraska to house the wastes generated in Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Nebraska’s representative cast the no vote.

The commission members were under federal mandate to choose a host state by Jan. 1. The disposal facility is to be operating by 1993.

U.S. Ecology, which will build the facility, recommended Nebraska.

Dennis Grams, Nebraska’s representative, said he voted no because his state’s officials have said all along they do not want the facility. However, he said, the state will live up to its responsibilty.

″We feel the facilty can be built and operated safely,″ Grams said.

Each state entered into the compact with the understanding that it could be chosen as the host. Now a community within the state must be chosen.

The comission agreed to a condition by Nebraska Gov. Kay Orr that the plant by accepted by the community selected, said Grams.

Hall Bohlinger of Louisiana, the chairman of the commission, said members will work with U.S. Ecology to select the community. He said the firm hopes to pick a site in the next year to year and a half.

The disposal site will house items such as protective clothing used in nuclear power plants or around medical equipment.

Jack Blanke, a geologist for the firm of Bechtel International, the engineering firm hired by U.S. Ecology, had said that Nebraska and Kansas had more suitable areas than the other states in the compact.

U.S. Ecology was asked to consider three factors in naming a host state: the percentage of the state’s area that is suitable for a site, the amount of waste the state is expected to generate and transportation factors.

Public hearings were held in each of the five states.

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