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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, May 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

Feds will miss cleanup deadline at E. Idaho nuclear facility

By Keith Ridler Associated Press

BOISE – Federal officials announced Friday they won’t meet a September deadline to start converting 900,000 gallons of high-level radioactive liquid waste to a solid form at the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho.

Idaho Cleanup Project Deputy Manager Jack Zimmerman of the U.S. Department of Energy says continuing problems at a $600 million facility built to handle the liquid waste are to blame.

The department initially had a 2012 deadline based on a 1995 agreement with Idaho, but that deadline has been extended multiple times.

Zimmerman says the latest missed deadline means the department faces potential fines from the state that could reach $6,000 a day.

Zimmerman says the plant treating the liquid waste has successfully shown it can convert it to solid form, but several glitches have caused safety concerns.

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