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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.

Eilen Jewell

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.

Don’t Waste Idaho fact sheet English

Don’t Waste Idaho fact sheet Spanish


Question the candidates.

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).

“I want to make sure the Snake River aquifer provides clean water to southern Idaho for generations to come. The 1995 Settlement Agreement with the Department of Energy tightly controls the movement of nuclear waste into and out of Idaho. Some Idahoans want to weaken the agreement and extend the time out-of-state nuclear waste can stay. Waste could become stranded in Idaho. If elected to office, will you protect Idaho and the Snake River aquifer by opposing any proposals that would increase the length of time out-of-state nuclear waste can stay at the Idaho National Laboratory?”


Call Idaho Attorney General Wasden! (208) 334-2400

AG Wasden has been steadfast in defending the 1995 Nuclear Waste Agreement.

Points to include in your call:

  1. Thank him for defending the 1995 Nuclear Waste Agreement.
  2.  Stranded waste: If the federal government succeeds in convincing Idaho officials to erase the time limit, waste might be stranded in Idaho, above the Snake River Aquifer.
  3. Dangerous shipments: There is no plan for safe shipment of these materials. The proposed shipments would travel our highways and would include “uncharacterized” wastes that could be flammable or explosive.

Thousand Springs by Kirk Anderson

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.

Send a letter to Idaho Attorney General Wasden! Just click on the link to send a short message.

Sample Letter

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!

Letters to the editor are widely read and closely monitored by elected officials and candidates.  Short simple letters with a personal touch are wonderful. SRA staff can review your letter too.  Please email your draft to Amy at

Contact our public officials and write a letter to the Editor!

Governor Butch Otter
Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden
Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0010
Idaho Mountain Express
Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340
Idaho State Journal
Box 431, Pocatello, ID 83204
Idaho Statesman
Box 40, Boise, ID 83707
Lewiston Tribune
505 Capital St., Lewiston, ID 83501
Post Register
Box 1800, Idaho Falls, ID 83403
Box 548, Twin Falls, ID 83303


March, 2018 — Net Metering – Help protect Solar in Idaho!
Comments on Net Metering due March 9, 2018

The comment period is past.

Sign up for our Net Energy Metering News for timely updates on this case!

By March 9, send comments in support of solar net energy metering to: on Idaho Power’s case IPC-E-17-13.  For suggestions on what to say to the IPUC click here.

September 9, 2016 and ongoingWrite 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.