Idaho Since 1892
Idaho State Journal
Copyright © 2000
Bill Shipp, the lab director at the INEEL, says the INEEL's
plans for the next 20 years include cleaning Idaho's nuclear
Journal file photo
INEEL: Taking care of Idaho's nuclear waste
By Anne Minard
Bill Shipp, director of the Idaho
National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, said cleaning
up the state's nuclear waste remains a top priority for the site.
Following closely behind, he said, are plans to make sure the
lab's legacy doesn't end with cleanup - but wi
ll instead be replaced with a long-term research program that
will keep Idaho involved in worldwide nuclear research and developments.
The lab's long-term viability in nuclear research has been a
recurring theme in public statements by a number of site officials
throughout the past year, the first for the lab under management
by Bechtel BWXT-Idaho, the contracting company that signed on
late last year.
But Shipp said the goal is long-range, and he wants the lab to
keep it in focus for a decade, minimum.
"There is usually a 10-year horizon from the time you have
committed to the vision. If you change that every few years,
you don't end up being competitive" in ways appropriate
for a major institution, he said.
A major thrust in developing the lab's research expertise is
gathering the human resources - a challenge in a climate where
membership in technical and other programs has dropped off with
the baby boomer generation.
The lab is forging partnerships with researchers across the region
through the Inland Northwest Regional Alliance, a consortium
of universities gearing their programs toward engineering, biology
and chemistry research beneficial for nuclear programs.