Restraining order prevents disposal of radioactive waste near Arkansas River

GORE, Okla. — Quick Facts:

  • District judge granted a restraining order against Sequoyah Fuels Corp.
  • The Cherokee Nation and state of Oklahoma filed the request to stop the disposal of radioactive waste near two rivers.

The Cherokee Nation and state of Oklahoma were granted an emergency restraining order to prevent a company from disposing radioactive waste near the Arkansas and Illinois rivers in the Gore area.

According to a release from the Cherokee Nation, a Sequoyah Fuels plant near Gore, has been in the decommissioning process since a deadly accident in 1986 killed one person and injured dozens of others.

Sequoyah Fuels reached an agreement in 2004 to responsibly dispose of waste collected during the process.

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The release said the company announced last week that they weren’t able to find an off-site location for the radioactive. Instead, they planned to put it in an on-site storage cell.

Cherokee Nation and state officials filed for the restraining order to allow time for a review of the options and impact on the community if the waste is stored on-site.

“We will pursue obtaining an expert review of off-site disposal options for the materials and examine the impact to the community and the environment should this waste be disposed of on-site. The safety of the environment, our citizens and all people in and around Gore is our highest priority in this matter,” said Sara Hill, Cherokee Nation’s secretary of natural resources.

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