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House Vote Saves Inel Research

Research at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory is important to the proper management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel, Rep. Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, says.

The House voted 266-155 on Tuesday night against an amendment proposed by Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., that would have cut $18 million for the Argonne National Laboratory’s electro-metallurgical spent fuel treatment.

The work is divided between Argonne’s facilities in Idaho and Illinois, and Crapo spokeswoman Susan Wheeler said a total of about 300 jobs are involved.

“This vote affirms the growing commitment in Congress to deal squarely with concerns about spent fuel storage,” Crapo said. “The research is supported by the National Academy of Sciences, and it is vitally important that it continue.”

Crapo said the research has the potential to find ways to cut the toxicity and volume of more than 100 kinds of nuclear waste. It’s stored at Department of Energy sites across the country, including Idaho.