Layoffs planned at Idaho nuclear waste processing project

Posted at 2:10 AM, Apr 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-16 04:10:45-04

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A U.S. Department of Energy contractor in charge of cleaning up radioactive waste at a federal site in eastern Idaho says it will eliminate up to 190 jobs starting this summer.

Fluor Idaho in an announcement last week says the action is necessary because some 600 workers in the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project are wrapping up cleanup work.

The workers have been processing 85,000 cubic yards (65,000 cubic meters) of radioactive waste at the Energy Department's 890-square-mile (2,300-square-kilometer) site that includes the Idaho National Laboratory.

A $500 million treatment plant handles transuranic waste that includes work clothing, rags, machine parts and tools that have been contaminated with plutonium and other radioactive elements.

The Energy Department late last year decided it would shut down the project after determining it would not be economically feasible to bring in radioactive waste from Washington and other states.