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June 6, 2019
SPOKANE — The U.S. government on Wednesday reclassified some of the nation's most dangerous radioactive waste to lower its threat level, outraging critics who say the move would make it cheaper and easier to walk away from cleaning up nuclear weapons production sites in Washington state, Idaho and South Carolina.
The U.S. Department of Energy said labeling some high-level waste as low level will save $40 billion in cleanup costs across the nation's entire nuclear weapons complex. The material that has languished for decades in the three states would be taken to low-level disposal facilities in Utah or Texas, the agency said.
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