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Area businesses encouraged to submit nuclear 'interim storage' designs

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Mar 20 2013 08:54:59 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2013 01:04:20 AM CDT

Caleb James reports.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

In the debate surrounding Idaho's nuclear future, there's been one big question about what role we should take in storing nuclear waste.

On Wednesday night, a local business advocacy group is urging eastern Idaho companies to get involved in developing the state as an interim storage location for spent nuclear fuel.

Recommendations made by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear future have prompted the Department of Energy to call on small businesses to develop generic conceptual designs for spent fuel storage facilities.

Grow Idaho Falls CEO Linda Martin on Wednesday said local businesses should get on board.

"I can see that becoming an interim site where it would eventually go elsewhere would not be such a bad method to deal with some of that material," said Martin.

Martin said there's a big opportunity between the lines of the recent Department of Energy posting.

"It would definitely add to the economic impact to the area," said Martin. "Not only would it help the lab, but there are a lot of vendors that are here that do similar type work."
 
The DOE posting surfaced on the federal contractors website FedConnect.com several days ago and, "... seeks responses from small businesses only and encourages small businesses to consider... developing a generic conceptual design ... of one or more (used fuel) interim storage facilities."

"We have several companies here in the area that may be well-fitted for such a project," said Martin.
 
Martin said she is encouraging those businesses to respond to the DOE's call, if only she says to show the state's interest in a nuclear future.

"At this point it's building a facility, and it would be an interim facility, not a final repository," said Martin.  

Martin said the state's political climate would likely not lend itself to putting a permanent spent fuel facility here, but an interim facility could be a big economic boost.

The posting is online, here:

https://www.fedconnect.net/fedconnect/?doc=DE-SOL-0005192&agency=DOE  

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