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Jun 29 2015


Idaho has already said NO . . . But those who want to import commercial nuclear waste need to hear it again

In January, we learned that Idaho’s Governor and Attorney General had agreed to allow two shipments of commercial spent nuclear fuel into the state. The Department of Energy has now released an environmental review, called a Supplement Analysis (SA), and it is wildly inadequate.  Comments on the SA are due July 13. You can help stop these shipments by sending in comments.

Tell the DOE “No”

  • Bait and switch is not okay.
  • Idaho has seen way too much waste never leave.
  • Fiddling with out-of-date analyses is not acceptable

Bait and switch is not okay.

One of the proposed shipments contains 25 high burn-up spent fuel rods (about 100 pounds) from the North Anna nuclear power plant in Virginia. They are called “sister rods.” They would come to Idaho for examinations to establish the baseline for future studies of other rods from the same reactor. Lots of other rods. Fifteen to 20 tons.  These rods will be stored at North Anna for about 10 years until, according to the Final Test Plan, their cask will be sent to an “off-site Fuel Examination Facility” so the rods can be removed and examined. The full plan is given minimum acknowledgment in a footnote in the SA. Read More

Q: Why worry about commercial spent fuel?
A: 23.8 billion curies…and counting

We’re sometimes asked why we oppose the importation of commercial spent fuel – and why the State of Idaho pushed to ban it in the 1995 Settlement Agreement. After all, there’s already spent fuel at the Idaho National Laboratory, right?

Well, look at this infographic:

Hot as a pistol graphic

Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, 2015

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Holding What Can't Be Held

The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) was established in 1949 and covers 890 square miles of eastern Idaho’s high desert plain, one of the most beautiful parts of our state. Beneath it, sixty years of nuclear contamination threatens the sole source of drinking water for 300,000 Idahoans downstream. Hazards have been created and accumulated and are now being cleaned up. It’s a story, filled with juxtapositions, that can be told in many different ways and from many different perspectives.

In the fall of 2014, the Snake River Alliance invited visual artists to join our tour of the environmental cleanup projects at INL. The artists came from across southern Idaho. Some were fairly familiar with the US nuclear weapons complex – the mother of one worked at the Rocky Flats plutonium factory, the father of another worked at INL. Others learned they lived near an almost alien place. None left untouched. Out of that long, challenging day, they have produced works of art probing the beauty and the peril of what they saw.

Holding What Can’t Be Held: Our Radioactive Backyard, the first exhibition of their work, will open on Thursday, July 2, and run through Saturday, July 18, at Ming Studios, 420 South 6th Street, Boise. There will be a number of special events during the exhibition.
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North Valmy, Nevada

Thanks to the hard work by our clean energy community and a changing culture at the state’s largest power company, Idaho Power is writing a plan to retire some of its coal-fired power plants a decade ahead of schedule and to replace that polluting generation with cleaner alternatives.

Idaho Power is putting the final touches on its 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which must be prepared every other year and which serves as a roadmap on how the state’s largest electric utility plans to meet its energy needs for the next 20 years. Read More

Pope Climate Change

When it comes to climate change, Pope Francis cuts right to the chase.

“If the current trend continues, this century could see unheard-of climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with grave consequences for all of us,” Francis writes in a draft of his encyclical to be delivered June 18. “Numerous scientific studies indicate that the greater part of the global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases.”

In what may the most anticipated theological and environmental message in generations from the head of the planet’s largest religious body, Pope Francis and the Catholic Church on Thursday released an encyclical that demands immediate action to address climate change trends that, barring immediate action, the Pope warns will imperil life on Earth. Read More