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Idaho’s Deal

Gov. Phil Batt’s nuclear waste agreement includes:

The U.S. Navy and Department of Energy will seek millions of dollars in funding for projects in Idaho, including $30 million starting in 1996 for projects at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory and elsewhere. The agreement also promised $7 million for a new facility at the Navy’s Acoustic Research Detachment at Bayview, Idaho; Congress recently approved that funding.

A total of 1,133 shipments of waste will be allowed into the state over the next 40 years on a strict schedule; the Energy Department had proposed 1,940. No commercial waste is allowed.

Waste already stored at INEL will be moved out, with the first shipments to leave Idaho no later than 1999. Liquid waste stored over the Snake River plain aquifer will be converted to safer dry waste. Hundreds of millions of dollars are to be spent to clean up and reprocess waste at INEL.

If the Navy or Energy Department fails to meet requirements of the agreement, shipments into Idaho must stop. If waste is not removed from Idaho by 2035, the federal government will pay Idaho $60,000 per day in fines.