California radioactive waste dumped in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A dozen California state senators said companies there are skirting state law by dumping radioactive waste in Tennessee.

The senators said California-based I-C-N Radiopharmaceuticals used what they term the "Tennessee Loophole" when it shipped dirt and material contaminated with radioactive Carbon 14 to a Memphis company that processes nuclear materials and routinely dumps at a Shelby County landfill.

A recent W-S-M-V-T-V investigative report found more than 10 million pounds of low-level radioactive waste from all over the country was dumped at B-F-I Middle Point Landfill in Murfreesboro in 2005.

That prompted officials to begin testing the city water for contamination, and last week county commissioners called for an end to radioactive dumping at Middle Point.

But Eddie Nanney of the Tennessee Radiological Health Department said the material dumped in landfills is safe.

Nanney said some radioactive material has to go to special disposal sites, but other waste that has a low level of radioactivity can be approved for disposal in normal landfills.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)