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Western governors: States not consulted on nuclear waste via News Center

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Western governors are disappointed that the U.S. Department of Energy didn’t consult their states’ nuclear waste experts before releasing a five-year plan for a nuclear waste facility in New Mexico, the governors say.

The Western Governors’ Association in a Sept. 30 letter to the Energy Department said the plan released in August for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant could have benefited with contributions from the states concerning transportation and safety.

The underground repository near Carlsbad, New Mexico, typically referred to as WIPP, takes in plutonium-contaminated clothing, tools and other material generated at 22 sites across the nation involved in Cold War-era nuclear research and bomb-making.

Among those sites are the Idaho National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Site in Tennessee, Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois and the Hanford site in Washington state.

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The Western Governors’ Association in 1989 created a Technical Advisory Group of nuclear waste and transportation experts that the governors said was left out of the latest Energy Department planning process for the repository.

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