IDAHO FALLS -- Idaho officials are fining the federal government after the U.S. Department of Energy failed to start a radioactive waste treatment facility before the deadline.
The Post Register reports that DOE officials said in May they expected to miss the Sept. 30 deadline because they were facing ongoing technical problems at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit west of Idaho Falls.
The facility is the first of its kind, built to treat 900,000 gallons of radioactive waste. It has not been able to get past the testing phase without breaking down and is at least $200 million over the original budget.
State environmental regulators are fining the DOE $3,600 per day.
A DOE spokeswoman says the department will not begin treating waste until it is convinced it can do so safely.