BOISE, Idaho (KLIX)-Idaho and the U.S. Department of Energy have signed a deal on the handling of used up nuclear fuel from a reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Governor Brad Little and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced the agreement with the DOE Tuesday morning, Feb. 4 for the storage of spent fuel generated by the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the INL site. Little and Wasden in a joint statement said the agreement resolves the uncertainty from an earlier agreement made in 1995.

"Under the 1995 agreement, wet storage of spent nuclear fuel is prohibited past 2023. Operations of the ATR, however, require that some fuel be maintained in an indoor, water-filled canal as a means of cooling the fuel after its use for research. The new agreement will allow the ATR facility to continue operating its canal beyond 2023, so long as certain conditions are met. The five provisions in the new agreement put timelines on the storage of spent fuel in the canal before placement into dry storage. They also place requirements to remove the fuel from Idaho, and create requirements for the DOE to provide the state with an annual accounting of the fuel in the ATR canal and applicable timelines for the fuel to be put into dry storage and removed from Idaho." according to a statement released by Gov. Little's Office.

Both Little and Wasden said they were pleased with the agreement that ensures research can continue at the ATR site while making the state safer and cleaner.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: this post has been corrected.

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