The office of a U.S. congressman says EnergySolutions Inc. is abandoning its plans to dispose of nuclear waste from Italy in Utah.
A spokeswoman for Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson says EnergySolutions told the Utah congressman Wednesday that a disposal facility may be located in Italy instead.
The Salt Lake City-based company had been seeking to import up to 20,000 tons of low-level radioactive waste from Italy's shuttered nuclear power program. After processing in Tennessee, about 1,600 tons would have been disposed of in Utah.
The proposal drew opposition from two Republican Utah governors and led the U.S. House to pass a bill banning the importation of foreign nuclear waste. The measure has languished in the Senate.
The measure's lead sponsors, Matheson and Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., contend that the U.S. should preserve capacity at its disposal sites for domestic waste at a time the nation is increasingly looking at expanding the use of nuclear power.
The Utah facility is the only one currently available to 36 states.
EnergySolutions has repeatedly said capacity is not a problem at its facility. The company has long held that it only wanted to dispose of foreign nuclear in an effort to build relationships with other countries and build disposal facilities abroad.
The company planned a news conference Wednesday morning to discuss the issue.
EnergySolutions shares fell 18 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $5.08, in Wednesday morning trading.
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