Federal authorities have approved licenses allowing up to 1,000 tons of low-level radioactive waste from Germany to be brought to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for incineration.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision has some environmental groups calling the plan unhealthy and a possible gateway for highly radioactive wastes to be reprocessed or recycled in East Tennessee’s “Atomic City.”

Don Safer, chairman of the Tennessee Environmental Council, told The Chattanooga Times Free Press that the Czech government turned away the waste and Utah did everything in its power to avoid receiving the ash left behind after incineration at Oak Ridge, forcing most of it to be shipped back to Germany.

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