Public Affairs Manager
Port scheduled to receive shipment of natural ore material containing low-levels of uranium
Everett, Wash. - The Port of Everett is scheduled to receive a shipment of natural ore containing low-levels of uranium in mid-October.
The shipment, which is en route from Japan, is being handling in partnership with regulatory agencies in the region. The soil is naturally occurring, and has not been processed or chemically treated in any manner. Primarily, the soil consists of an altered granite and propylite including some clay minerals, with uranium grades in the range of the ores mined on the Colorado Plateau.
"Nobody is in any danger with this shipment," said Ed Paskovskis, deputy director for the Port of Everett. "This is a natural material that is simply being transported to the United States to recover the uranium that can then be sold to a utility."
The soil contains such low levels of uranium that a "hazardous" material sticker isn't even required for the shipment. Even shipments of watches with florescent dials require a "hazardous" material sticker, which speaks to the lack of concern regulatory agencies have with this shipment, Paskovskis said.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has determined that the soils origin and characteristics does not require a specific NRC import license, but can be imported under its general license. The shipment, however, does contain some organic material, such as plant and root matter, that requires a quarantine permit from the Department of Agriculture before the material can be processed.
"We will take all proper safety and handling precautions as we do with all cargoes that come through the Port of Everett," said Carl Wollebek, director of Marine Terminals for the Port of Everett.
For more information on the shipment, please contact Lisa Mandt, Community Relations Representative at 425-388-0617 or by e-mail.