Casper Star-Tribune
Casper, Wyoming

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

INEEL closes Jackson information office

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory plans to close its information office here on July 31.

The facility based west of Idaho Falls, Idaho, is making budget cuts and also plans to cut 1,200 jobs, according to Ron King, Idaho Department of Energy spokesman.

All areas of the nuclear research complex will be affected.

The Jackson office was opened nearly two years ago at the height of debate over a proposed nuclear waste incinerator at INEEL. The plans were shelved not long after conservationists and other Jackson Hole residents filed a $1 billion lawsuit.

Lorie Cahn, the INEEL liaison in Jackson, said her office remains busy but not as busy as when it first opened in October 1999.

"The office was in response to the public saying they had some trouble getting some information," she aid.

King said much of the need for the office has gone away now that there are no plans for an incinerator.

But Erik Ringelberg, executive director of Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free, said the U.S. Department of Energy continues to keep incineration an option for reducing volumes of nuclear waste.

Cahn will remain a full-time environmental restoration employee for INEEL. King on Tuesday gave her a plaque recognizing her work in Jackson.