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Heightened Terror Alert Has Effect On INL Waste

With a heightened terror alert around the nation following Osama bin Laden’s death, the safety of nuclear waste in eastern Idaho has come under question.

Despite recent safety checks within the Department of Energy, the Energy Communities Alliance wants another review for spent fuel storage safety at the site, and wants it made public.

The E.C.A. also said that it is concerned that with recent DOE budget cuts, the spent fuel will be stored even longer than expected.

“Nuclear waste is dangerous. It is harmful to people, and it is harmful to the environment,” said Beatrice Brailsford of the Snake River Alliance.

Brailsford said that the world knows the amount of highly radioactive waste located in eastern Idaho.

“Three Mile Island spent fuel is stored there. The facility where it is being stored is questionable,” said Brailsford.

Experts agree that it is nearly impossible for a terrorist organization to handle highly radioactive waste, but its capability to harm the public is huge.

“We are just concerned that there could be potential contamination if the waste were to stay there much longer than that. It could be soil contamination, could be ground water contamination,” said Allison Doman of the A.C.E.

The E.C.A also said that it trusts the DOE is acting in a safe manner, and the DOE issued this statement this evening:

“In light of the Fukushima incident, on March 23, 2011, the Secretary called for an evaluation of DOE’s nuclear facilities to ensure appropriate provisions are in place.”

The DOE also said that its current safety study is for natural disaster events, not an act of terrorism.

In a related note, British police arrested five men outside a nuclear plant on Monday. They wouldn’t say why they were arrested, but they were being detained under anti-terrorism laws.

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