Putting Idaho in competition for nuclear waste site premature, Sayer says

A recommendation that Idaho join the scramble seeking federal designation as an interim nuclear waste storage site, would be premature, Idaho Department of Commerce Chief Jeff Sayer says.

His comments Monday came as Gov. Butch Otter’s 13-member Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission released a report with 60 subcommittee recommendations and a lot of questions. But it did not yet call for Idaho to join New Mexico, Texas and South Carolina in the competition to serve as an interim nuclear storage site and the presumed economic development sweeteners that would go along with it.

That is significant since many eastern Idaho business interests support bringing waste into Idaho they are confident can be handled safely. These are all strong Otter supporters and want him on their side.

The Idaho National Laboratory’s top contractor Battelle has stopped short of such a recommendation, instead seeking only enough waste to support a growing mission to manage nuclear waste into the 21st Century and beyond.

But such efforts are premature in part because the Blue Ribbon Commission’s national recommendations for resolving the waste issue after the Obama Administration announced it was closing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site in Nevada have gone nowhere. Congress has not yet voted and some Republicans still hope Yucca Mountain, which has never opened, may come back on the table.

“It's not only premature from a federal standpoint,” Sayer said. “We need to have a conversation as a state before we go down that path.”

Otter’s LINE Commission was supposed to start that conversation. But Otter himself all but shut it down when he said “I’ll say this as plainly and as unequivocally as I can: Idaho will NOT be a repository for nuclear waste.”

Still, Otter hopes the commission’s work will help the state find a way to enhance and support the Department of Energy’s nuclear power research mission at the INL. The lab creates 24,000 jobs and has been an economic engine for Idaho for more than 60 years.

Just as important, the 1995 Nuclear Waste Agreement was written with Yucca Mountain in mind. If its gone and alternatives aren’t found, Idaho is going to have waste long after 2035 with only minimal fine payments.

Sayer hopes that the release of the report begins the conversation that will get Idahoans to recognize the strengths and the limits of the 1995 agreement. He hopes the conversation at least considers changes in the agreement that recognize the new realities 17 years later.

“Can we create a financial reward for carrying the nation’ burden?” Sayer asks.

If the conversation Sayer seeks is about turning Idaho into an interim nuclear waste storage site officially, then the Snake River Alliance’s Liz Woodruff has a simple answer she thinks Idahoans will share, “No,” she said.

She notes that all of the questions in the report and the commission’s task in general suggest that the lab’s economic future is tied to allowing more waste. One of the 60 draft recommendations calls for a pilot regional interim storage facility.

“I the people of Idaho will reject that idea and we have already rejected it,” Woodruff said.

“We’ve said all along that the commission wants to pursue a future in nuclear energy that the economics and political realities don’t support,” Woodruff said.

She acknowledges that “There is always going to be nuclear waste at the site.” But she’s not ready to call this reality an interim storage option or to discuss what happens after 2035.

That’s up to the federal government to solve, not Idaho, she said.

“The Line Commission has gotten ahead of itself throughout this process,” she said.

Otter already made Idaho a waste suppository- Unreported again

Gee Rocky, here we go again, refusing to report the Emperor has no clothes, and refusing to report Idaho agreed to leave 90% of the plutonium dumped in a flood zone, over our water supply.
Instead, Rocky tooted the naked Emperor's horn, repeating Otter's BS "But Otter himself all but shut it down when he said “I’ll say this as plainly and as unequivocally as I can: Idaho will NOT be a repository for nuclear waste.”
How many times have I shared the Judge's revelation that the State agreed to leave 90% of the plutonium dumped, and agreed to open new plutonium dumps onsite? All never meant all, but Butch is again allowed to declare victory and claim Idaho isn't a permanent sacrifice zone for the feds and nuke business buddies to dump on.
On page 14 of the LYIN Commission report (webpage 18 of 52) they falsely claim "All transuranic waste will be removed from the state no later than Dec. 31, 2018." On page 16 they declare the clean up a "success story."
I asked the LYIN Commission to read the Judges ruling, report on DOE's Dr Soderholm's discovery of plutonium nanoclusters moving easy with water disproving the plan to leave it dumped. I asked they report on the economic devastation of a meltdown instead of just the economic benefit of INL.
I said at the Twin Falls meeting the Commission was refusing to respond, but Sayer claimed I would get a detailed response in the report. Gee, what a surprise they refused to mention meltdowns, bragged "all" clean up promised on plutonium was done. They finally mentioned cyber threats, but only to mention how lucky we are INL has a cyber security team.
It's just our kids and our water, but ain't it treason to lie to Idaho families? ...Peter

As soon as Harry Ried

Is gone, Yucca Mountain will be used as a secure nuclear waste storage site as intended. At present it is being used as a symbolic monument to the uncounted tens of billions of dollars Harry Reid has wasted.

Not really, all Republicans in Nevada also oppose & FIGHT feds

Hi fastaluki,
Sorry, but no, Yucca Mt would not open if Reid died today. You are an innocent victim of Iduho political propoganda parrotted by Iduho media. All Nevada politicians of both parties succeeded in fighting the feds, what we were told was IMPOSSIBLE by our politicians.
The real history is geologically, three states were scientifically selected to look at. Politicians from Washington state and Texas removed their states from that list. Congress openly called this the "Screw Nevada" dump. We were picking on the wekest.
But be clear, DOE scientists were forced by Nevada to admit the data showed both water and earthquakes would disturb Yucca waste. So W Bush, who promised NOT to open Yucca so he could get their votes, broke that promise. DOE then was ordered to just rely on the barrels to not rust or break. This is not good science, and now they will do that very trick to Idaho, with Butch's blessing.
Butch and even lobbyist Cecil have sold the state long ago. We can still save our water from plutonium, but with top down lying, and the SRA asleep at the wheel, chances are we will serve as the nation's nuclear suppository.

And you, foot doctor

Are a not so innocent of your own agenda and hubris. Sixty years ago Stagg Field at the University of Chicago was a "nuclear waste dump" and the handball courts under the bleachers may still be filled with graphite blocks. The President and his wife worked a couple of blocks from there a short five years ago. Maybe that is why people such as yourself think he glows in the dark claim he wears a halo.

You label me incorrectly- I am not an Obama fan

Not so fast, fastaluki! Obama is a green painted nuke polluter. I have been nothing but critical of his plan to subsidize nuke power for over $100 BILLION of money we borrow from CHina. Obama takes money from the Board of Illinois based Exelon Nuclear corporation and returns their favors, just like our idiot paid off republican politicians...Peter