Industry could be hit harder in Tennessee than in other state with delays
in a regional waste site, a University of Tennessee environmental policy
analyst said Tuesday.

David Feldman said a snag in building a regional radioactive disposal
site in North Carolina probably means higher fees ahead for eight
Southeastern states that had hoped to use the facility by Jan. 1, 1996.

North Carolina regulators, unhappy with builders of the proposed facility,
voted Monday to push back its opening to March 1997.

The region's low-level waste now goes to a landfill at Barnwell, S.C.,
slated to close Dec. 31, 1995. If that facility closes, low-level producers
must store their waste elsewhere, most likely on site, Feldman said. Should
it stay open beyond 1995, fees are almost sure to increase, he said.

"South Carolina has made it clear that it no longer wants to be the
nation's low-level radioactive waste disposal site," Feldman said. "It's an
issue of fairness."

This is especially bad news for Tennessee, which has the strongest
low-level radioactive waste processing industry in the Southeast, Feldman
said. Many states send their low-level waste to Tennessee to be processed,
reduced to smaller volumes and then sent to Barnwell.

"Tennessee generators-mostly low-level processing companies - would wind
up having to pay more to get rid of low-level radioactive trash shipped
here from other states," Feldman said.

Tennessee shipped more than 53,000 cubic feet of low-level radioactive
waste to be stored at Barnwell as of May 1994, according to the July
edition of Radioactive Exchange, a trade publication. The Southeastern
state closest to that amount is Virginia with 23,000 cubic feet.

The proposed waste site in North Carolina is budgeted at $150 million. It
was already two years behind schedule before the latest delay.