I've been half-following this story, and I can't tell if it's a tempest in a teapot, or the real thing. Today Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon, the chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, introduced legislation to ban the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from allowing us to import foreign-generated nuclear waste.
"No other country in the world is accepting nuclear waste from other countries," said Gordon. "By doing so, the United States is putting itself in position to become the world's nuclear dumping ground."
According to the terms of the bill, the president can grant specific exemptions if an application shows importing said waste would serve a national or international policy goal, such as a research purpose.
In February, Utah-based EnergySolutions applied for an NRC license to import 20,000 tons of low-level nuclear waste (that means no glowing rods) from decommissioned nuclear reactors in Italy. The waste would be ultimately disposed of at a site in Clive, Utah. "The United States has only a finite amount of space available for disposal of nuclear waste," said Gordon.