US company aims to treat Mexican radioactive waste

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- A waste management company has applied to the federal government to import up to 500 tons of radioactive waste from Mexico to south-central Washington, where the waste will be incinerated and the resulting ash returned to Mexico.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says such proposals are unusual, but not unprecedented. Another company applied last year to incinerate radioactive waste from Germany at its facility in Tennessee.

The latest application was filed April 3 by Atlanta-based Perma-Fix Environmental Solutions Inc. A public comment period on the application ends Thursday.

The low-level waste in question generally involves protective clothing and tools that have some degree of contamination, and incinerating it reduces the volume for permanent disposal.