Idaho nuclear lab director says spent-fuel impasse harms mission

Posted at 4:09 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-22 18:09:19-05

BOISE — The director of the nation's primary lab for nuclear research says the biggest threat to the lab's mission is being prohibited from bringing in small quantities of spent nuclear fuel -- due to a federal agency's settlement agreement with Idaho.

Mark Peters told lawmakers on the House Environment, Energy and Technology Committee Tuesday that the impasse could cause some to question the Idaho National Laboratory's status as the nation's lead nuclear energy laboratory.

A $600 million treatment plant has failed to treat 900,000 gallons of liquid radioactive waste that the U.S. Department of Energy was supposed to have cleaned up from the eastern Idaho federal site by 2012.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, as a result, blocked a shipment of spent research fuel to the lab in 2016.

(by Keith Ridler, Associated Press)