E. Idaho nuclear waste treatment plant reports success

Posted at 1:42 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 15:42:58-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP)  — Officials at an eastern Idaho nuclear facility say they’ve made significant progress in efforts to remove high-level liquid radioactive waste stored in tanks above a massive aquifer.

U.S. Department of Energy contractor Fluor Idaho says in a statement Tuesday that workers recently completed a 50-day test at a treatment facility built to turn the liquid waste into more manageable solid waste.

The Integrated Waste Treatment Unit has been unable to process 900,000 gallons (3.5 million liters) of high-level liquid nuclear waste, causing the federal agency to miss a deadline required in an agreement with Idaho.

As a result, Idaho officials are refusing to allow small quantities of spent nuclear fuel into Idaho for research at the Energy Department’s Idaho National Laboratory.

Fluor Idaho says the treatment unit will now undergo modifications to prepare for treating the nuclear waste.