Energy secretary to visit Jackson, Boise

January 08, 2001

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Energy Secretary Bill Richardson is expected to visit Jackson, Wyo. and Boise on Monday to talk about alternatives to radioactive waste storage in southeastern Idaho.

Scheduled to accompany him is Mario Molina, vice chairman of a panel that studied alternatives to incinerating waste at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

Molina is the 1995 winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his theory that fluorocarbons deplete the ozone layer.

The panel has concluded there are alternatives to incineration but each would require extensive research. The panel has requested setting aside $90 million for research.

The Energy Department created the panel after putting construction of an incinerator at INEEL on hold to short circuit a court challenge to the project. The lawsuit was filed by Jackson-based Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free after residents charged that the incinerator would bring toxic air pollution to northwestern Wyoming.

Richardson will be at Snow King Resort Monday morning and in Boise that afternoon.

Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer was asked to attend but cannot, spokeswoman Rachel Girt said. Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has the Boise meeting on his schedule.