DOE fails to respond to former Idaho governors

BOISE -- An update now on efforts by former Idaho Governors Cecil Andrus and Phil Batt to stop nuclear waste shipments to Idaho.

Andrus says the Department of Energy has failed to respond to his request for answers.

Two months ago, Andrus and Batt sent the Department of Energy a letter asking for answers on nuclear waste and disposal options.

The Andrus Center for Public Policy sent a statement today saying the DOE has failed to respond to the questions.

On January 20, Andrus wrote the DOE a letter asking 14 questions -- specifically for information about the agency's plans for research on commercial spent nuclear fuel that the DOE is proposing to bring to Idaho.

Andrus has said that shipments of commercial nuclear waste to the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho could potentially harm the environment.

Andrus says the people of Idaho are entitled to know in detail about the DOE's short and long-term intentions. He says failing to provide answers is unacceptable.

"What do you plan to do with the material after you analyze it? You already have 600,000 pounds of spent fuel rods in the state with no place to go. We don't want any more to come in until we know what's going to happen," said Andrus.

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Andrus says he believes the DOE has violated federal law by not notifying the public of how this waste would be treated or stored at the INL.

Andrus is still considering plans to sue the Department of Energy over this issue, although he hopes it isn't necessary. He believes the lack of response is a result, in part, of the fact the DOE has no current, long-term waste disposal strategy.


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