INL Negotiations Made Public

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials offered to remove twice the amount of high-level nuclear waste they proposed to send for research to an eastern Idaho nuclear facility in a deal with state officials that collapsed amid mounting concerns a nearly $600 million waste treatment facility might never operate.

Letters between the U.S. Department of Energy and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden made public by Wasden show that the federal agency balked at a counteroffer Wasden made seeking a way around the malfunctioning Integrated Waste Treatment Unit at the Idaho National Laboratory.

The Energy Department is trying to get a waiver to a 1995 agreement with Idaho because of a missed deadline converting 900,000 gallons of liquid waste into solid form.

Lacking the waiver, the federal agency on Friday canceled the first research shipment of 100 pounds of spent fuel worth an estimated $20 million annually to the state.