Utah Considers Request for Mass and Concentration Limitations Exemption

On October 25, 2018, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board held a meeting beginning at 11:00 a.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The purpose of the meeting was to address a request from EnergySolutions for an exemption from R313-25-9(5) of the Utah Administrative Code regarding mass and concentration limits.

The materials for a special Board meeting on this topic that was held on August 30, 2018, including the EnergySolutions’ letter with detailed background information and an explanation of the basis for the requested exemption, can be viewed online at https://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/423003.pdf#page=2.


By letter dated August 24, 2018, EnergySolutions petitioned the Board for an exemption from the mass and concentration limitations of UAC R313-25-9(5)(a) and (c) in connection with the disposal of Class A depleted uranium solid metal penetrators (DU Penetrators).

UAC R313-12-55(1) allows the Board to “grant exemptions or exceptions from the requirements of the rules as it determines are authorized by law and will not result in undue hazard to public health and safety or the environment,” according to the EnergySolutions’ letter.  “Solid metal depleted uranium penetrators are less hazardous and less plentiful than the depleted uranium oxides which are the basis of the UAC R313-25-9(5) restriction and an exemption is warranted in accordance with the justification herein provided,” states EnergySolutions in its letter.

As further explanation, the EnergySolutions’ letter states as follows:

The U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command (JMC), working under the direction of the Product Director for Demilitarization, is responsible for the safe and compliant disposition of munitions waste.  The JMC seeks to transport and dispose of 30 mm munitions containing solid depleted uranium metal.  The DU Penetrators will be disassembled to remove the depleted uranium metal prior to packaging for transport and disposal.  The JMC plans to disassemble between 3.5 to 7 million penetrators each year, currently in storage at the Tooele Army Depot (Tooele, Utah) and Crane Army Ammunition Activity (Crane, Indiana).  The JMC expects to transport and dispose of approximately 667 yd3 of DU Penetrator Class A waste per year for up to 4 years (a projected DU Penetrator disposal volume of 2,668 yd3).  Disposal of this volume of class A depleted uranium metal will exceed the limitations promulgated in UAC R313-25-9(a).

On August 30, 2018, the Board held an emergency meeting to review EnergySolutions’ request for an exemption from R313-25-9(5) of the Utah Administrative Code regarding mass and concentration limits.  (See LLW Notes, July/August 2018, pp. 8-9.)


The Board—which is appointed by the Utah Governor with the consent of the Utah Senate—guides development of Radiation Control policy and rules in the state.  The Board holds open meetings ten times per year at locations throughout the state.  A public comment session is held at the end of each meeting.

Copies of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board meeting agendas and packet information can be found at http://www.deq.utah.gov/boards/utah-waste-management-radiation-control-board-meetings.htm. 

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.