With regard to the commercial fuels shipments to the INL: We have a resounding support in our community for the commercial fuels research opportunity at the INL. I’ve listened to John Grossenbacher’s presentation of the timing and need for Idaho’s support, as well as Atty. Gen. Lawrence Wasden’s stand on the issue. It is clear that we need to act quickly to get an amendment to the Batt agreement in place in order to receive the fuels shipments. The closure of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has affected our ability to meet our deadlines for shipping Transuranic (TRU) waste. The Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU) is experiencing startup issues that they are working through and will continue to work through, affecting our ability to process that waste and meet those deadlines. Our timing on these activities is an issue and we should not let it affect our opportunity to continue our position as the country’s nuclear research center. It is critical to our current and future local economy. A liaison is needed to facilitate the communication and amendment needed, between Wasden and DOE more quickly and effectively. The two departments could more effectively negotiate this subject that so greatly impacts Idaho, as both seem to support getting this work done here.
Julie Foster, Idaho Falls