October, 2018 —
The Department of Energy is trying to force Idaho to accept 7,000 cubic meters of plutonium-contaminated waste from the shutdown nuclear bomb plant at Hanford, WA. to be treated at the Idaho National Laboratory. The shipments would cross southern Idaho by truck and train and would include “uncharacterized” wastes that could be flammable or explosive. In theory, the waste would later be trucked to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico for disposal. But theories don’t drive trucks, and the waste could be stranded in Idaho above the Snake River aquifer.
In 1995, Idaho forced the federal government to sign the Nuclear Waste Settlement Agreement to protect Idaho from becoming a nuclear waste dump. One of the most important provisions of the agreement is that nuclear waste coming to Idaho for treatment leave within one year.
Idahoans must show strong support for the 1995 Nuclear Settlement Agreement that prohibits the federal government from shipping Hanford’s nuclear waste to Idaho. Idaho’s Governor and Attorney General are the key decision makers.
It’s election season and candidates are making many public appearances. Ask the candidates about shipping nuclear waste to Idaho. Here’s a question you can ask (don’t be shy about having it on a card and reading it, especially if you’re at a public forum).
AG Wasden has been steadfast in defending the 1995 Nuclear Waste Agreement.
Points to include in your call:
4. Protect Idaho’s water: The INL sits above the upstream end of the Snake River Aquifer, the sole source of drinking water for 300,000 people. The nuclear contamination already at INL should be cleaned up, not added to.
Dear Attorney General Wasden,
The Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed shipping 7,000 cubic meters of plutonium-contaminated wastes from Hanford, Washington to the Idaho National Laboratory. A shipment this large could violate the 1995 Nuclear Settlement Agreement that says nuclear waste shipped into Idaho must leave Idaho within one year.
The Department of Energy has a responsibility to treat the nuclear waste that is already at the Idaho National Lab, including 900,000 gallons of highly radioactive liquid waste, to minimize the chance of a release into the air, land or water. The 1995 Settlement Agreement was a victory for the State of Idaho. The Snake River Aquifer and the Snake River are at risk if the terms and deadlines of the Settlement Agreement are waived.
Please reject this proposal from the Department of Energy and continue to uphold the 1995 Settlement Agreement.
Write a letter to the editor!
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Contact our public officials and write a letter to the Editor!
|Governor Butch Otter
Boise, ID 83720
|Attorney General Lawrence Wasden
Boise, Idaho 83720-0010
|Idaho Mountain Express
Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340
|Idaho State Journal
Box 431, Pocatello, ID 83204
Box 40, Boise, ID 83707
505 Capital St., Lewiston, ID 83501
Box 1800, Idaho Falls, ID 83403
Box 548, Twin Falls, ID 83303
March, 2018 — Net Metering – Help protect Solar in Idaho!
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September 9, 2016 and ongoing — Write Governor Butch Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden: Tell them to take all necessary action to stop nuclear waste from coming to Idaho!
Across the country, the owners of nuclear power plants are looking for a new home for their most radio-active waste. The Department of Energy is the house hunter for the nuclear power industry. The DOE has asked Idaho for permission for two shipments of “research quantities” of nuclear waste. The first would come from North Anna, Virginia, and the second from Byron, Illinois. Both are currently prohibited by the 1995 Settlement Agreement that bans new commercial waste from Idaho.
In 2015, the first shipment was temporarily halted when Attorney General Wasden denied the request. Mr. Wasden refused because the DOE has not met key deadlines for cleaning up the nuclear waste that is already here at the Idaho National Laboratory. But that could change.
Status Report: The North Anna shipment was rerouted (at least temporarily) to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The DOE is expected to ask for permission for Byron’s spent fuel to come in December. Now’s a good time to tell the Governor and the Attorney General that the people of Idaho don’t want more nuclear waste in our state!
Points to include in your letter:
Clean up what is already here The immediate problem is that 900,000 gallons of highly radioactive liquid waste remain buried in old tanks above Idaho’s Snake River Aquifer. There is a long history of contamination at the site and the $1 billion cleanup facility doesn’t work. Idaho’s best legal leverage is to enforce the state’s ban on commercial nuclear waste until the problem is solved.
The Snake River Aquifer and the Snake River itself are at risk until nuclear contamination from the Idaho National Laboratory is fully cleaned up.
New safety concerns The proposed research into “pyroprocessing” of nuclear waste creates new safety concerns, generates more nuclear waste and can creates the ingredients for more nuclear bombs.
Bad precedent Allowing “research quantities” of commercial nuclear waste would weaken the 1995 Settlement Agreement, which bans commercial spent fuel from Idaho. Idaho has already said “no”.
No jobs for Idaho According to the DOE, the Byron shipment “would not notably impact socioeconomic resources” in eastern Idaho and would create no new jobs at INL.