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Idaho lawmakers want nuclear waste ready to get trucked away

Idaho lawmakers want nuclear waste ready to get trucked away

by KEITH RIDLER Associated Press, Saturday, April 11th 2020  BOISE, Idaho (AP)

– Idaho’s congressional delegation wants the U.S. Department of Energy to prepare spent nuclear fuel for trucking out of eastern Idaho ahead of a 2035 deadline.

The two Republican senators and two Republican representatives in the letter sent Wednesday said the department could be readying the spent fuel for placement in protective trucking containers.

A 1995 agreement following a series of federal lawsuits requires the Energy Department to remove most of the spent fuel and other nuclear waste from the site that includes the Idaho National Laboratory……..

The Idaho lawmakers acknowledge the lack of a permanent repository in their letter, but they say preparing the waste for removal from Idaho should start anyway. …….

The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that the U.S. has more than 99,000 tons (90,000 metric tons) of spent nuclear fuel stored at 80 sites in 35 states. Most of the spent fuel is from nuclear power generation at commercial plants, with about 15% coming from the U.S. government’s nuclear weapons program.

Some of that nuclear waste was being sent to Idaho for years until former Democratic Gov. Cecil Andrus and former Republican Gov. Phil Batt engaged in a series of federal court battles with the Energy Department resulting in the 1995 Settlement Agreement during Batt’s term that is generally seen as preventing Idaho from becoming a high-level nuclear waste dump.

That agreement, with some exceptions, requires the Energy Department by 2035 to remove spent fuel and nuclear waste from its 890-square-mile (2,300-square-kilometer) eastern Idaho site in sagebrush steppe. The area is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Idaho Falls and sits atop a giant aquifer supplying farms and cities in the region with water.

The 1995 agreement has been altered several times over the years, including twice recently…….

The U.S. Navy also stores spent fuel from its fleet of nuclear-powered warships at the site. That spent fuel is also covered in the 1995 agreement.

April 11, 2020 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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