Cherokees, State, Company Ordered To Find Solution For Nuclear Waste At Gore Plant
SALLISAW, Oklahoma - A Sequoyah County district judge ruled against the Sequoyah Fuels company on Thursday.
The company wants to dispose of 11,000 tons of nuclear waste on-site at the decommissioned Kerr-McGee facility in Gore.
The waste was supposed to have been sent to a facility out of state years ago, but that never happened. The Cherokee Nation got a restraining order in February preventing the on-site disposal of the waste.
On Thursday, April 27, 2017, the judge ordered the three parties involved in the dispute -- the Cherokee Nation, the State of Oklahoma and Sequoyah Fuels -- to meet weekly until they find a solution. He also kept the restraining order in place.
The Cherokee Nation said the 11,000 tons of nuclear waste poses an environmental risk because of the facility's close proximity to the Arkansas and Illinois Rivers.
The Cherokee Nation released the following statement about today's decision:
“The Cherokee Nation is pleased with Sequoyah County District Court Judge Jeff Payton’s ruling today to continue the order preventing Sequoyah Fuels from placing waste in their on-site disposal cell,” according to Sara Hill, Cherokee Nation Secretary of Natural Resources. “The Cherokee Nation looks forward to meeting with the state and Sequoyah Fuels weekly to come up with solutions and a compromise for the best way to dispose of this waste, as the judge has ordered in the case.”