10 of the World's Most Expensive Megaprojects
From the Top Down: Ending Sexual Harassment in the Construction Industry
Spending Up for the Month, Down for the Year
Friday Funny: "Raising the Roof"
Tracking Technology Helps Construction Companies Save Money, Improve Safety
What The ‘Tech’ Just Happened to Meetings?
Weekly Grind: The Future of Construction Technology Across the Country
Friday Funny: It's Just Ergonomics
By Keith Ridler, associated press
October 4, 2016
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Navy and U.S. Department of Energy want to build a $1.6 billion facility at a nuclear site in eastern Idaho that would handle fuel waste from the nation's fleet of nuclear-powered warships through at least 2060.
The new facility is needed to keep nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines deployed, according to an environmental impact statement made public Friday. It would be built at the Energy Department's 890-square-mile site, which includes the Idaho National Laboratory, considered the nation's primary lab for nuclear research.
The government also looked at two other alternatives: continuing to use outdated facilities at the site or overhauling them. The effect to the environment would be small for all three options, the document concluded.
The federal government bringing nuclear waste into Idaho has been a touchy subject, but state officials supported the new building.
"We would prefer to see a state-of-the-art facility if they're going to continue to bring in spent fuel," said Susan Burke, Idaho National Laboratory oversight coordinator for the state Department of Environmental Quality.
The Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, a joint Navy and Energy Department organization, has been sending spent Navy fuel to the Idaho site since 1957, the document said. It's transported by rail from shipyards.
Program officials didn't immediately provide comment to The Associated Press on Monday.
Barring protests, a document approving the plan could be issued early next month. Officials say site preparation would likely begin in 2017, with the facility becoming operational in the early 2020s.
"The facility would be designed with the flexibility to integrate future identified mission needs," the environmental impact statement says.
It notes that a new building is needed to handle a new type of spent-fuel shipping container, which is not possible at the current facility. The Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, when it becomes operational, will use the new container, as will nuclear-powered submarines under construction, officials said.
The container requires a larger pool with a different configuration to submerge the fuel waste so it cools before going into dry storage.
The existing pools have not been upgraded to seismic standards, should there be an earthquake, but the new facility would meet them, the document said.
Nuclear waste coming into Idaho spawned lawsuits when state leaders in the late 1980s and early 1990s thought the site was becoming a nuclear waste repository.
The lawsuits culminated in a 1995 agreement, then a 2008 addendum, limiting such shipments and requiring most nuclear waste be removed from the federal site by 2035. The deal applies to the Navy's spent nuclear fuel.
That means the fuel waste will come to the new facility after 2035 but it will only remain for the six years it takes to cool in pools, Burke said. After that, it's required to be put in dry storage and taken out of Idaho.
The document released Friday said the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program is committed to complying with the agreement.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Dakota Access Pipeline Case Set to be Heard by DC Court
That master strategist Sun Tzu knew a thing or two about out-thinking the competition. Turns out his focus on strategy over strength can be applied to gaining an edge in the construction industry. ... Read More
If you're a construction worker, you're most likely working physical labor and it can get hot if you're working under the sun. Here's a guide for h... Read More
As an architectural statement, the campus is a monument both to Apple’s corporate success and centrality to the global tech culture. At 176 acres, ... Read More
August 8, 2016
"Some of the cool things that we're doing on job sites today are with Rovers and the alive platform. Alive is that software platform that glues to... Read More
The National Association of Women in Construction has a new executive vice president. This change marks a “brand new day and brand new way” for the... Read More
Every construction business owner can learn a lot from competitors. But merely copying them won't do. You will just always stay one step behind. So... Read More
We've selected eight women from all walks of life to ask them one common question: what advice would you give women who want to enter the construct... Read More