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Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:14 PM

Gov. Nixon signs bills to lower fees on radioactive shipments

I listened to the debate on the Senate floor over this bill. Very few opposed it.

JEFFERSON CITY -- Gov. Jay Nixon signed three bills Tuesday that make it cheaper to ship radioactive material through Missouri.

Since 2009, shipments of radioactive material have been inspected upon entering the state by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. For security, the shipment is then escorted border to border by the Missouri Highway Patrol. To pay for all this, the state charged $1,800 per container of radioactive material, which can range from spent nuclear fuel to high-level radioactive waste.

Now the state will charge $1,800 per truck, a move that could save companies shipping the material through Missouri thousands of dollars a year since trucks can hold multiple containers.

The company that pushed for the change, Ontario-based Nordion Inc., paid $293,000 in fees over the past two years to ship the radioactive material cobalt-60 through Missouri on its way to other states. A spokesman for a trade group representing Nordion earlier this year estimated that traveling through Missouri costs Nordion roughly $4,000 a shipment.

Originally, Republican lawmakers pushed to make Nordion exempt from the fees and inspections altogether by attaching the measure to numerous bills as an amendment and without a public hearing. But in a compromised worked out with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the fees were simply lowered.

Read more here: http://midwestdemocracy.com/articles/gov-nixon-signs-bills-lower-fees-radioactive-shipments/#storylink=cpy

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