Eastern Idaho Community Leaders Unite to Show Support of Nuclear Opportunities in Idaho

Idaho Falls, ID. - A group of Eastern Idaho community leaders have united to support continued interest in nuclear research and development and workforce development. Community leaders and elected officials will be reviewing the recommendations outlined in the Draft Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and will provide comments to the Commission.

In the report, released July 29, the Blue Ribbon Commission made a number of recommendations including implementing a stable, long-term program to support research, development and demonstration of advanced reactor and fuel cycle technologies; supporting workforce development; developing one or more geologic disposal facilities; and siting one or more interim used fuel storage sites.

Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman noted that the Commission recommendations could have important implications for future missions at the Idaho National Laboratory, for eastern Idaho industries, and higher educational institutions across Idaho.

“INL is the center for reactor and fuel cycle research in the United States, with unique capabilities and infrastructure to support such a research program,” he said. “There is no reason to duplicate these capabilities somewhere else when it can be done easily at INL. Afterall, the mission of INL is to lead the nation in nuclear research and development. Also, Eastern Idaho has long been considered one if not the most supportive regions in the nation for nuclear programs, industry, education and workforce development. These recommendations present potential opportunities that spill beyond the boundaries of the INL to other reaches of our state.

The draft report indicates the Commission’s interest in hearing from communities. According to Lane Allgood, Executive Director of the Partnership for Science and Technology, “Our goal is to review the information in the report and provide appropriate input to the Commission on issues we feel are important to our region and state.”

The draft report is available for public review and comment on the Blue Ribbon Commission website at www.brc.gov. The first opportunity for oral public input will be September 13 in Denver, Colorado. A representative for the Eastern Idaho group plans to attend the meeting and provide general comments to the Commission. After further study of the recommendations, the group plans to submit more detailed comments during the remainder of the comment period, which extends through October 31. The final report is scheduled for release on January 29, 2012.

The group includes the mayors of Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Blackfoot, as well as representatives from Governor Otter, Congressman Simpson, and Senator Risch. The group also includes representatives from the Rexburg City Council, Partnership for Science and Technology, Grow Idaho Falls, Regional Development Alliance, Idaho higher education institutions, and area chambers of commerce. If you are interested in how you can provide your input or comments, please contact Lane Allgood at 208-313-4166 or lallgood@p-s-t.org.

Posted on August 15, 2011 .