Evans says Idaho needs to take tougher stance on nuke waste

July 8, 2014 

This story originally appeared in he Idaho Statesman May 14, 1995

Former Gov. John Evans says Idaho should "jump up and scream" in taking a tougher stance to keep the federal government from forcing its nuclear waste on Idaho.

"They're just going to force it until Idaho kicks up a storm and says no, " he said.

Evans, president of D.L. Evans Bank in Burley, has worked in Idaho politics for 34 years, and most of the time, the government has had "temporary" nuclear waste storage at eastern Idaho's National Engineering Laboratory.

"If we yield on the issue, they'll send it all to us, " Evans said.

Since the 1950s the U.S. Navy has sent all its spent nuclear reactor fuel to INEL. Much of it remains stored in bins and pools over the Snake River Plain Aquifer the major source of water for much of eastern and southern Idaho.

Lawsuits, delays, National Guard troops on the railways or whatever it takes to keep the waste out should be done, he said.

Idaho's young congressional delegation needs to put up strong protests to the nuclear waste shipments, he said. That's something that Gov. Phil Batt did in his meeting last week with Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary and Batt's decision to take court action against the federal government.

The ex-governor said Batt made a mistake at first, accepting promises from the Energy Department that waste would be stored temporarily in Idaho. "It's broken promise after broken promise in the nuclear waste fiasco, " he said.

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