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National Digest: Scientists record deepest undersea volcano ever seen

A plume of sulfur and molten lava erupts from the West Mata Volcano nearly 4,000 feet beneath the Pacific Ocean, south of Samoa in this May 7 image made public Thursday.
A plume of sulfur and molten lava erupts from the West Mata Volcano nearly 4,000 feet beneath the Pacific Ocean, south of Samoa in this May 7 image made public Thursday. (Nsf And Noaa Via Associated Press)
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-- Ed O'Keefe

UTAH

Energy Dept. reaches nuclear waste deal

The Energy Department said is has struck a deal with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert that would prohibit thousands of drums of low-level radioactive waste from South Carolina from being permanently buried in Utah until stricter state guidelines are put in place.

Department spokeswoman Jen Stutsman said the agreement was reached Thursday, two days after Herbert called on the department to stop a train loaded with depleted uranium from leaving the Savannah River Site near Aiken, S.C.

State regulators say they need more time to determine whether depleted uranium can safely be disposed of at EnergySolutions' site about 70 miles west of Salt Lake City. Depleted uranium is different from other waste disposed there because it becomes more radioactive over time, for up to 1 million years.

The first train, carrying more than 4,000 55-gallon drums of waste, won't be stopped or turned around, Stutsman said. But the department agreed to place its waste in temporary storage once it arrives in Utah, rather than permanently disposing of it.

-- Associated Press


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