About 50 members and supporters of the Snake River Alliance were among the 200 people who attended a July 14th public meeting in Boise about the future of nuclear waste. The Department of Energy came to town with nearly a dozen facilitators to talk to Idahoans about the agency’s newest plan – finding somewhere that “consents” to storing spent fuel from nuclear power plants. Although Boise was the smallest of the eight towns the DOE went to, thanks to the Alliance, the facilitators had to manage the largest, most energized crowd.
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend the meeting or the online webcast. Because of you, we delivered the message that NO. WE WILL NOT CONSENT. Read the Alliance’s comments to the DOE here.
By the end of the year, the DOE will release a draft report based on the eight public meetings it has held across the country. We’ll have a chance to give feedback on the draft report. What’s next?
We don’t know. One senior DOE official described its process as an attempt to “agitate the system.” Many participants, not just in Idaho, expressed strong distrust for DOE and skepticism that spent fuel, moved once, would ever move again. Many across the country are concerned that the DOE’s approach to “consent-based” siting won’t work and support taking nuclear waste management away from the agency.
The fight is far from over. The Alliance will continue to work with our members and allies across the country to ensure that political pressure doesn’t shift the nuclear waste burden to Idaho. And Battelle, the Idaho National Laboratory’s nuclear energy contractor, will continue to try to bring commercial spent fuel to INL.
The Alliance has protected Idaho from becoming the nuclear power industry’s dump in the past. Now, concerned people need to pitch in to help again.