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Anti-Nuclear Group Seeks To Educate Idaho Voters Ahead Of Election

Keith Ridler
AP Images
In this May 11, 2015, file photo, nuclear waste is stored in underground containers at the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Idaho.

In 1995, former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt signed an agreement with the Department of Energy, laying out deadlines to safely remove nuclear waste from the Idaho National Laboratory storage facility. The first of those deadlines is the end of this year.

So he was dismayed to hear about an April leak at the facility which exposed three firefighters to radioactive material.

Now, at 91-years-old, Batt wants to see state-elected officials uphold the 1995 agreement.

“That’s up to somebody else," says Batt, "that’s not up to me.”  

Batt has joined a new effort called Don’t Waste Idaho – in partnership with Snake River Alliance, a local environmental group.

In March, Department of Energy officials told the Associated Press that they’re considering shipping new waste to the eastern Idaho waste treatment facility.

Amber LaBelle, a Boise member of Don’t Waste Idaho, says they have a simple mission.

“To send a very clear message to the Attorney General and to the Governor," she says, "that we need them to stop nuclear waste shipments.”

The storage facility sits on top of the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer, which supplies water to both nearby cities and farmers alike.  

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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