January 13 brought bad news about Governor Otter and Attorney General Wasden’s plans to grant the Department of Energy a “waiver” to ship more nuclear waste to Idaho, despite DOE’s existing violations of the 1995 Settlement Agreement that mandate clean up. As we warned on January 15, Governor Otter’s willingness to grant this waiver indicates that more waivers will follow and the critical protections Idaho established in the settlement agreement will be rendered meaningless.
The 1995 Settlement Agreement gives the State of Idaho the right to block any and all spent nuclear fuel shipments from the Department of Energy if DOE fails to meet the commitments it agreed to in the settlement. The Settlement Agreement, which Governor Batt called the People’s Agreement, is Idaho’s strongest shield against becoming a nuclear waste dump. That shield must never be lowered.
We thank the Post Register and Idaho Statesman for providing a broad platform for Beatrice Brailsford’s moving guest opinion on the US nuclear weapons arsenal. Find the guest piece in the Post Register here and in the Idaho Statesman here.
Executive Director Kelsey Jae Nunez was included in the Boise Weekly’s message to Governor Otter about the “real” state of the state. Kelsey stated, “there’s a real threat to Idaho that more nuclear waste is going to be shipped and stored here. We know that right now, Gov. Otter is being actively wooed by companies who will profit from bringing more nuclear waste into Idaho. We don’t want Idaho to be a waste dump for the private sector.” Click here for the full article.
“The problem is a lot of the complaints that existing nuclear plants aren’t getting enough credit from E.P.A.’s proposal basically amount to a request to weaken the rule,” said Mr. Lashof, also a longtime climate expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council, “so it’s nothing more than business as usual.”
IDAHO FALLS – The morning of Feb. 5, deep below the New Mexico desert, a salt-hauling truck caught fire inside the nation’s only repository for nuclear weapons waste.
Nine days later, on the opposite end of the underground mine known as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, near Los Alamos, another accident occurred. This time, a 55-gallon drum of waste suddenly burst open, spewing large amounts of radioactive white foam. Airborne radiation from the incident traced its way up a ventilation duct to the surface, exposing 21 workers to low-radiation doses.
Here, you will find thoughtful analysis and updates on nuclear and clean energy issues, including publications and news from our staff and international sources. Please join us as we work towards responsible solutions to nuclear waste and a nuclear-free future and as we seek to strengthen Idaho’s economy and communities through the implementation of renewable energy sources and the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation.