- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Idaho Sen. Jim Risch on Tuesday called on state leaders to take action on two proposed shipments of nuclear waste.

The spent fuel would be used for research at the Idaho National Laboratory, but the state’s attorney general has banned the shipments until a radioactive waste treatment facility is up and running, reported the Post Register (https://bit.ly/1TTdWud0 ).

“If this (research) isn’t done here at the lab in Idaho, it is going to be done somewhere in America,” Risch told the audience at the Intermountain Energy Summit in Idaho Falls.

“And I guarantee you, there are several labs that would very much like to have this work, and hope it will lead to additional work. But we’re ready to do it here, and it needs to be done here.”

Unless at least one shipment is approved within a month, the fuel could be sent elsewhere, said Department of Energy Officials.

Risch said Tuesday that top energy officials and state executives should have a special meeting and hash the situation out behind closed doors.

He said the meeting should include Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz or another top DOE official, INL Director John Grossenbacher and a representative from the contractor operating the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit.

“Those six people could go into the room, shut the door, and after a conversation for about an hour, they are going to know whether this can be done,” Risch said.

“This is not rocket science. This isn’t even a very difficult executive branch problem,” he added. “This can be done.”

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

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