Feds will miss cleanup at nuclear facility

Posted at 2:00 PM, May 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 16:01:17-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Federal officials announced Friday they won't meet a September deadline to start converting 900,000 gallons of high-level radioactive liquid waste to a solid form at the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho.

Idaho Cleanup Project Deputy Manager Jack Zimmerman of the U.S. Department of Energy says continuing problems at a $600 million facility built to handle the liquid waste are to blame.

The department initially had a 2012 deadline based on a 1995 agreement with Idaho, but that deadline has been extended multiple times.

Zimmerman says the latest missed deadline means the department faces potential fines from the state that could reach $6,000 a day.

Zimmerman says the plant treating the liquid waste has successfully shown it can convert it to solid form, but several glitches have caused safety concerns.