EnergySolutions navigates turmoil

“Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions Inc. this month will mark its one-year anniversary as a publicly traded company — a year that has been a roller coaster as the stock price has veered from a high of $29 in November 2007 to a low of $2.38 this past September.

EnergySolutions shares closed at $5.25 on Friday, 82 percent below the peak price last year. The company’s shares plunged most sharply after the company in October issued a revised guidance statement that lowered its forecast below what Wall Street analysts and investors had expected:.,5143,705261807,00.html


Rebecca Walsh: EnergySolutions’ communication stalls

Rebecca Walsh: EnergySolutions’ communication stalls

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Rebecca Walsh

EnergySolutions spokeswoman Jill Sigal took issue with my last column about her company.
“I’m telling you, you have a false statement in your column,” Sigal said.
Specifically, she challenged this line: “The company has been quietly preparing a spot for contaminated laundry residue from a reactor in Brazil.”
Sigal says that’s just not true. “It is absolutely false,” Sigal said.
EnergySolutions would be on the receiving end of a shipment of incinerated radioactive waste from Eastern Technologies of Ashford, Ala. Eastern applied for an import license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last July. The NRC notified the state, by e-mail, two months later. The only place the processed waste can go is EnergySolutions’ landfill in Clive.
When I pointed that out, Sigal said, “I’m not going to get in an argument with you.”
If we are to believe the Washington, D.C.-based spokeswoman, EnergySolutions sits back passively and waits for whatever nuclear waste is dumped in its lap. The Salt Lake City company won’t import the stuff. It hasn’t asked government regulators at the Northwest Compact to sign off (the company actually considers the compact irrelevant). That’s Eastern’s job.
“We knew nothing about it. The first I heard about it was in [The Salt Lake Tribune story],” Sigal said. “I don’t know anybody

at EnergySolutions who is preparing to take this waste

Forget that Sigal is leaving herself some wriggle room: There could be someone she doesn’t know at EnergySolutions preparing a spot for the foreign waste. The idea that a major corporation would have to find out from a newspaper where its next possible shipment is coming from seems ridiculous – or at least a reason for shareholders to sell their declining EnergySolutions stock.
“It’s their business model to take waste,” said Vanessa Pierce, director of the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah. “EnergySolutions is going to ask for whatever it can get. And it’s always going to want more.”
The company has pushed legislation to redefine its waste stream and double the size of its landfill. Now, after pledging not to dump the world’s radioactive junk in Tooele County, it seems EnergySolutions executives are trying to craft an image as victims of their own success.
Meantime, the NRC aids the charade by haphazardly informing Utah regulators as the mess comes in. They e-mailed about Brazil, but apparently failed to mention waste from Canada and Mexico long since buried in Clive.
Is this any way to handle the nation’s – and the world’s – low-level radioactive garbage?
Predictably, Tooele County politicians are OK with the way things are going. Tooele is a company town.
“What they did may have been a break of faith, but I believe it was within the scope of their license to do,” said Democratic legislator Jim Gowans in the Tooele Transcript Bulletin.
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., who eventually wants to squeeze off EnergySolutions, is not so sanguine.
Huntsman spokeswoman Lisa Roskelley insists “the bugs have been worked out” with the NRC. The commission promises to notify the state in the future.
“The NRC has a clear understanding of the state’s position,” Roskelley said. “There are better lines of communication now.”
I feel so much better.


Rebecca Walsh: EnergySolutions not true to its word

Rebecca Walsh: EnergySolutions not true to its word

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Rebecca Walsh
Remember that “The Simpsons” episode where Homer gains so much weight he plugs the cooling tower? Hilarious stuff. Laugh out loud funny.

This joke EnergySolutions is playing on all of us – nuclear regulators, the governor and Utah residents? Not so funny.
Turns out, after promising they wouldn’t take the world’s waste and dump it in the west desert, EnergySolutions executives went right ahead and did just that. While we’ve all been focused on 20,000 tons of radioactive waste from Italy, the company has been quietly preparing a spot for contaminated laundry residue from a reactor in Brazil.
By the way, they’ve also taken nuclear waste from Taiwan, Britain, Germany, France, Canada and Mexico – after first blending it in Tennessee and Alabama to make it American.
They must figure radiation has gone to our heads, that we’re all Homers, bumbling idiots who can be bought off by a few jobs in Tooele County, campaign donations on Capitol Hill and a sign on an NBA arena.
Seven years ago, the company (Envirocare of Utah before a new owner gave it a green-washing makeover as EnergySolutions) pledged not to turn Utah into the world’s nuclear dumping ground. I have the letter to Bill Sinclair, Utah’s Northwest Compact representative, right here:
“Envirocare has made the policy decision that it will not take out of the country wastes,” wrote Ken Alkema,

Envirocare senior vice president, on Aug. 15, 2001.
Now I’m looking at the full-page ad EnergySolutions CEO Steve Creamer took out in Sunday’s paper. What a difference seven years makes. Before the blather about “life saving cancer treatments” and a “nuclear renaissance,” I find the opening for another broken promise:
“EnergySolutions will not make Utah the world’s dumping ground,” Creamer writes.
He’s offended by a political ad from Rep. Jim Matheson who says, “I want to stop them from making us the world’s nuclear garbage dump.”
Matheson and Tennessee Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon are sponsoring legislation to ban foreign waste from the United States. Matheson’s anti-nuclear testing and dumping stance is one of the few courageous positions he’s taken in Congress. And it distinguishes him from his Utah GOP colleagues: Rob Bishop and Chris Cannon.
Creamer says Utah’s Democratic congressman is off-base. Just 5 percent of the Tooele landfill is reserved for international junk. He insists EnergySolutions is a fix for the country’s energy crisis, global warming and national security. Essentially, it’s our patriotic duty as Americans and citizens of the world to take one for the global team. Just in case we don’t go along, the company has sued to force the issue and bypass regulators.
“Disposing of material at our Clive, Utah facility that was generated overseas and processed in the United States does not pose a health or safety risk,” he says. “If by managing a small amount of Italian material we can help a country restart its nuclear power program, the world, including the United States, benefits.”
That sounds good. But it’s beside the point. Mixing radioactive concrete and dirt and fabric stateside doesn’t change its country of origin. Safe or not, Clive would become the world’s low-level radioactive landfill of first resort.
Call us Homers, but we’re tired of getting dumped on.

EnergySolutions’ waste procedure confusing to candidate

EnergySolutions’ low-level nuclear waste operations are confusing to at least one other Utahn — 2nd Congressional District GOP candidate Bill Dew.

On a KSL-TV debate Tuesday night, Dew said it was his understanding that the hazardous waste firm may bring foreign waste to Utah, but it would then be reconditioned and sent on to Japan for final disposal.

U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, Dew’s opponent, said: “That is just wrong.” Matheson said it is clear that EnergySolutions would bring not only Italian waste to Utah, but bring low-level waste from other countries as well, and then would concentrate and bury it at the firm’s Tooele County landfill.

Dew said he supported the firm’s foreign waste proposal. Matheson said he was dead set against it and would try next year to pass federal legislation to prohibit it.,5143,705258758,00.html

EnergySolutions used loophole to bring Brazilian nuke waste to Utah

EnergySolutions used loophole to bring Brazilian nuke waste to Utah

PORTLAND, Ore. – Even as debate has roiled for months over a proposal to bury radioactive waste from Italy in Utah, plans for a shipment from South America have been quietly in the works.
But the plan to bring in contaminated laundry waste from a nuclear reactor in Brazil appears dead on arrival.
No sooner was the proposal revealed publicly Wednesday than a regional oversight panel made clear its intentions to tell federal regulators the foreign waste won’t be allowed at the EnergySolutions Inc. landfill in Tooele County.
And members of the eight-state group agreed to take a few more steps to make sure that the Salt Lake City nuclear waste company does not bury any more foreign waste at the specialized Utah landfill.
“We accomplished what we set out to accomplish,” said Bill Sinclair, Utah’s representative on the Northwest Compact board and deputy director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, following Wednesday’s meeting. “We’ve sent a message.”
The compact’s main task in the session was to close a loophole that has apparently allowed some low-level radioactive waste to be disposed of at EnergySolutions in the past eight years. The loophole, reflected in Tennessee and NRC regulations, has allowed EnergySolutions to relabel waste originating from foreign nations after it goes through nuclear waste treatment plants so that it can be buried in Tooele
Word about the compact’s actions didn’t faze company spokeswoman Jill Sigal.
“What the compact does is not going to have a bearing on us,” she said.
“We don’t think the Northwest Compact has authority over us.”
The company has gone to a federal judge for a ruling on the authority question. And, as the Northwest Compact tries to make its case that Congress gave it authority over the flow of waste in and out of the region, bills have been introduced in Congress to ban foreign waste from the United States.
The compact’s action Wednesday prompted Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah and Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee to renew calls for the passage of their bill.
“We consider this an unacceptable attempt to get around the Compact’s authority,” the Democrats said of the loophole.
“Our legislation will put a stop to this questionable interpretation of the law. No other country in the world takes another country’s radioactive waste and neither should the United States.”
A year ago, EnergySolutions asked the NRC for a license to import 20,000 tons of waste from Italy’s shut-down nuclear program, process it in a company-owned plant in Tennessee and dispose of 1,600 tons of residue in Utah. It was the NRC’s largest import request to date.
Compact members also discussed other ways they can make sure they know the origins of waste headed for Utah in the future.
Last spring, EnergySolutions’ Chairman and chief executive officer Steve Creamer said his company had accepted waste from Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and Mexico.
The waste from Brazil would be the residuals of several containers of laundry from a reactor. Eastern Technologies, of Ashford, Ala., applied for an import license from the NRC on July 16. The compact states were surprised when informed of the application last month and had not discussed it publicly until Wednesday’s meeting.
Even though the amount of radiation that would be added to the Tooele County site is small, the import license should be rejected because EnergySolutions’s contract with the Northwest Compact does not specifically allow waste generated in another country, the compact will tell the NRC.
Besides making sure that the waste can be imported safely, the NRC must ensure the any waste products have an approved place for disposal.

8-state panel to take on EnergySolutions’ loophole

8-state panel to take on EnergySolutions’ loophole

Nuclear regulators from eight states, including Utah, meet today to look for a way to close a loophole that has allowed low-level radioactive waste from foreign nations to be buried in U.S. landfills.
The Northwest Interstate Compact on Radioactive Waste wants to address the loophole in Tennessee regulations that allows such waste to be imported to the United States.
EnergySolutions Inc., a Salt Lake City nuclear-waste company, has raised awareness about foreign waste in the past year, with a request to import waste from Italy’s decommissioned nuclear power plants, process it at the company’s Tennessee plant and dispose of a small portion of it in the company’s Tooele County specialized landfill.
The company has said the import would not be much different from the foreign waste it has been burying in Utah for eight years. The waste is mildly contaminated with radiation – not lethally dangerous high-level waste, like that used in nuclear fuel.
Yet federal and regional regulators, along with members of Congress, have raised a red flag about EnergySolutions’ latest import request because of its large volume, about 20,000 tons, compared with 1,883 tons for the 13 import requests federal regulators have previously approved.

EnergySolutions has gone to court to get a federal judge’s ruling on whether the Northwest Compact has jurisdiction over the company’s Utah landfill.

The company says “no,” while the compact says “yes.”

EnergySolutions profits double in second quarter

EnergySolutions profits double in second quarter

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Posted: 6:27 AM- Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions saw profits double in the second quarter of 2008.
Net income was $12.6 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ending June 30, 2008. Year-ago net income was $6 million.
Thanks largely to the acquisition in June 2007 of the British Reactor Sites Management Co., revenues at the nuclear energy service company nearly tripled to $460 million for the quarter. Same-period revenues for last year were $162 million, the company reported Monday.
“In this, our second full quarter as a public company, I am very pleased with the performance of each of our business units and the progress each has made in executing our long-term strategic goals,” said R. Steve Creamer, EnergySolutions’ chief executive officer.
Revenues in the company’s federal services and international operations increased during the quarter. Meanwhile, revenues were down in the commercial services division and in logistics, where revenue declined primarily because of lower volumes of waste being disposed at the company’s low-level radioactive and hazardous waste site in Tooele County.
EnergySolutions trades under the symbol ES on the New York Stock Exchange.