Letter: Church should oppose nuclear waste in Utah

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) President Russel M. Nelson and the First Presidency, enter the conference center for the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City, Saturday, March 3i, 2018.

Dear Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring,

On May 5, 1981, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a bold and important statement opposing the placing of the MX missile train system in Utah and Nevada.

Our state is confronted with a similar situation today that simply cannot be ignored. Our legislators in the last session passed HB220 potentially allowing Class B and Class C nuclear wastes (including depleted uranium) to be transported to and stored at the Envirocare Skull Valley repository. These long-lived wastes increase in toxicity over hundreds of thousands of years. Every legislator that voted in favor of this legislation received donations from Envirocare.

Imagine the thousands of trains and trucks transporting these nuclear poisons, sloshing in their holds … forever. Insane!

There is so much wrong here, not only the dangers of transportation through population centers and the Envirocare site itself (open pit, shallow aquifer, etc.), but so many unknowns. This is a Utah state issue. Other states and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cannot believe our state will actually welcome these toxic wastes.

This should not be a political issue. It is an extremely serious health concern for our families, our children and our children’s children. We call upon the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to take a stand in reversing this bill, similar to the brave and righteous position they took against the MX missile system in 1981.

Leslie and Gail Ellison, Salt Lake City

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