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Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation discuss nuclear waste disposal

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SALLISAW, Okla. – The state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation are working together in court to stop the permanent disposal of radioactive waste near the Arkansas and Illinois rivers.

The Tulsa World  reports the state and the tribe obtained a temporary restraining order against a long-out-of-business uranium plant on Thursday.

Statements from the Cherokee Nation say the Sequoyah Fuels facility, which converted yellowcake uranium into fuel for nuclear reactors, left tons of “uranium-contaminated sludge” in many “basins, lagoons and ditches at the site” when it closed in 1993.

The order will temporarily keep the company from disposing of the waste at the site itself.

Court records say tribal and state officials want their own experts to review options for off-site disposal.

Sequoyah Fuels and the company’s law firm didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.