Two workers at the Idaho National Laboratory are suing the U.S. Department of Energy under the Freedom of Information Act because they say they were wrongly denied documentation about an accident in which they were exposed to plutonium.
Idaho’s Governor created a permanent commission Wednesday to help protect the nuclear industry in Idaho. This was one of several recommendations made by a five member panel known as the Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission.
A nuclear watchdog group says it’s skeptical about a new set of recommendations that could result in more nuclear waste coming into Idaho.
On Tuesday Liz Woodruff, a spokeswoman with the Snake River Alliance, issued the group’s first reaction to Monday’s draft proposal from a task force on nuclear energy. It calls for the reconsideration of a 1995 agreement with the federal government that caps the amount of nuclear waste that can enter Idaho.
An alleged “secret scheme” to allow more nuclear waste into Idaho is at the center of a squabble between current and past governors.
Former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus (D) wrote in an op-ed Sunday he believes state and Idaho National Laboratory officials want to “revise” a 1995 agreement. That agreement requires the federal government to remove all nuclear waste from INL by 2035. Andrus said revisions would extend the deadline by fifteen years, and open Idaho’s borders to 3,000 metric tons of commercial spent nuclear fuel.
Updated Monday, April 23, 2012: Idaho National Laboratory suspended some work last week at a complex where nuclear fuel and other research takes place. This comes after a small roof fire and a crane accident at its Materials and Fuels Complex. Over the past few months, a number of safety incidents have occurred there.
A small fire at the Idaho National Laboratory flared up Monday afternoon on the roof of a building at the lab’s Materials and Fuels Complex. The fire was put out with no injuries. INL spokesman Ethan Huffman believes welding work sparked the blaze. "The particular building that had the fire involved in it did not house radioactive materials. It housed standard offices, conference rooms, the cafeteria." Huffman says there is no danger or risk to the public. He characterizes it as a minor fire.