TWIN FALLS — City Councilman Chris Talkington and Buhl farmer James Reed will speak Friday against the shipments of nuclear waste through Idaho.
Idaho was the nation’s nuclear waste dump until Gov. Phil Batt in 1995 negotiated an end to the practice, by limiting the time nuclear waste can stay in Idaho. But that agreement is now at risk, says the Snake River Alliance, Idaho’s nuclear watchdog.
Some 30 people are expected to turn out Friday at the Twin Falls Visitor Center in opposition of the U.S. Department of Energy’s plan to ship 7,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste from Hanford, Wash., to Idaho National Laboratory, a nuclear research site near Arco on top of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer.
The DOE plans to ship the waste to INL for assessment before permanent disposal at nation’s waste isolation pilot project (WIPP) in New Mexico. The 1995 Nuclear Waste Settlement Agreement established a one-year in-and-out rule, limiting nuclear waste’s time in Idaho to just 12 months.
But WIPP has been disabled by two underground accidents, slowing the flow of nuclear waste materials into the waste disposal, Wendy Wilson, executive director of Snake River Alliance, said Wednesday.
“The waste from Hanford could be stranded in Idaho in violation of the nuclear waste settlement agreement,” Wilson said.
The alliance is launching its statewide Don’t Waste Idaho campaign at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Twin Falls Visitor Center. Petitions asking Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to oppose the DOE’s plans will be available to sign.
Also, a no-host dinner is planned for 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Rock Creek Restaurant in Twin Falls.