Radioactive soil from Maine reactor refused at landfill in Utah

Friday, April 22, 2005

Envirocare, a corporation that runs a landfill in Utah that accepts radioactive waste, has turned away a shipment of soil from around the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant in Wiscasset, Maine, the Portland Press Herald reported. The soil, which is held in 48 boxcars, was contaminated during the 26 years during which the Maine Yankee plant generated electricity. The shipment was refused due to excess water in previous shipments.

The plant stopped producing electricity in 1997; its concrete dome was detonated in September of 2004. The decommissioning is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2005.

In a related development, a Wiscasset environmental organization, the Chewonki Foundation, has taken possession of a 200 acre portion of the former power plant's lands; the Foundation will act as stewards of the land, according to the Wiscasset Newspaper. The plot, known as Eaton Farm for its previous agricultural use, will be the site of what Chewonki Foundation Executive Director W. Donald Hudson, Ph.D., calls, "the coolest trail in the state of Maine." The five miles of trail on the Eaton Farm land will be part of a 12 mile trail that may eventually run from downtown Wiscasset to Montsweag Bay.