Idaho and Washington states could end up housing high-level radioactive waste for decades to come, the fallout of closing down a Nevada repository. President Barack Obama is making good on a campaign promise by killing the Yucca Mountain repository outside Las Vegas, report Erika Bostad and Les Blumenthal of McClatchy Newspapers. But with Yucca Mountain off the table, that leaves the Idaho National Laboratory, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington and the Savanannah River Site in South Carolina as the likely successors.
“We’re all concerned,” said Jared Fuhriman, the mayor of Idaho Falls, the largest city near INL. “Where are we going to store the waste that we have? How many millions and millions of dollars has been spent, of taxpayer dollars, and now all the sudden, there doesn’t seem to be any future for it? We’re going to have to store them somewhere.”
Fuhriman was echoed by Gary Petersen of the Tri-City Industrial Development Council, near the Hanford nuclear reservation. “We don’t want to become a long-term repository without even having a discussion about it.”