- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - An investment group is pitching a plan to build a commercial nuclear power plant in southeastern Idaho near the Idaho National Laboratory.

The Post Register reports (https://www.postregister.com/node/69370) that Twin Buttes Enterprises LLC presented its idea to the Butte County Commission on Monday.

“Butte County’s been comfortable for decades with nuclear energy because of the INL site,” said Commission Chairman Seth Beal, referring to the federal nuclear research facility. “So, it’s not foreign to us, but it’s difficult to really evaluate anything yet. It’s just an offering.”

He said a letter will be drafted showing the support for nuclear power in the county, but “we can’t support any project, because right now, there isn’t one.”

Twin Buttes was approved for a certificate of organization by the Idaho Secretary of State on Nov. 21. Bob Skinner, a former INL executive now with Twin Buttes, said the group plans to start contacting potential nuclear plant developers next year.

Other members of Twin Buttes, the group said, are local real estate agent Reed Nord, Idaho Falls engineer Ted Sorensen, and Christopher Hope, who is identified as having international commercial nuclear power plant experience.

There are about eight investors in all, Skinner said, and they’ve been working informally on the idea for a nuclear plant for more than three years.

The plan involves 1,840 acres owned by the Pancheri family east of Howe that is flanked by the INL on two sides. Skinner said the group has an option on the land to build a nuclear power plant.

Skinner said the group has examined water access and completed environmental and seismic background research. Potential economic effects on Butte County have also been examined, he said.

“We recognize it’s just the first step in them trying to move forward,” Beal said. “It’s pretty preliminary.”


Information from: Post Register, https://www.postregister.com

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