Tests making progress for Idaho nuclear waste treatment

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials say testing of a small-scale version of a key component of an eastern Idaho radioactive waste treatment facility that has so far failed to operate is making progress at finding a solution.

The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday says results from testing at Hazen Research near Denver, Colorado, will be used during planned tests at the Idaho facility later this year.

The inability of the $600 million Integrated Waste Treatment Unit to process 900,000 gallons (3.5 million liters) of high-level nuclear waste stored at the 890-square-mile (2,300-sq. kilometer) Energy Department site in eastern Idaho has caused the federal agency to violate a 1995 agreement with Idaho.

As a result, research quantities of spent nuclear fuel are being prevented from entering the state to be tested at the Idaho National Laboratory.