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June 21, 2016 06:08 PM

Borehole Backers Abandon Spink County After Local Opposition

Redfield, SD

Organizers of a federal effort to assess whether nuclear waste can be stored deep underground have abandoned Spink County as a potential site because of local resistance.

A spokesman for Battelle, the nonprofit managing the project, said Tuesday that county commissioners made it clear they were against hosting the experiment before organizers applied to move forward.

Commission Chairman Dave Albrecht says there's been "overwhelming opposition" to the plan from the beginning.

The U.S. Energy Department project is meant to help determine whether deep rock is suitable for nuclear waste disposal, but it would not involve any actual waste.

Still, organizers faced opposition. Before that, officials in Pierce County, North Dakota, voted to formally oppose allowing the experiment there.

Battelle spokesman T.R. Massey says there are alternative sites, but declined to reveal where.
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