Borehole project pulled
Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:19pm admin
Like many South Dakotans in Spink and Haakon counties, I was deeply concerned about doing testing in our backyard to determine whether deep boreholes could store nuclear waste," said Representative Kristi Noem.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced Tuesday, that they are discontinuing support of the Deep Borehole Field Test Project.
Representative Kristi Noem broke the news with a press release Tuesday morning.
Jen Jones, Midland, stated she is very happy with the decision. Patricia Temple, DOE Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, stated in a congressional notification that the move was made due to budget priorities.
Noem’s press release noted, “... significant concerns were raised by Noem and community members regarding the potential for these sites to house future nuclear waste.
“Like many South Dakotans in Spink and Haakon counties, I was deeply concerned about doing testing in our backyard to determine whether deep boreholes could store nuclear waste.
“I am grateful to the Trump administration for hearing the concerns raised by these communities and subsequently withdrawing consideration of this proposal.”
Temple’s release stated that the four research teams in South Dakota, Texas and New Mexico are to continue with the public in their areas to answer any remaining questions.
An update to the DOE’s website post regarding the project stated, “Due to changes in budget priorities, the Department of Energy does not intend to continue supporting the Deep Borehole Field Test (DBFT) project and has initiated a process to effectively end the project immediately.”
RESPEC’s post on Drill Deeper SD noted, “The Department of Energy will be focusing their budget resources for high-level waste disposal and storage on Yucca Mountain.”
The DOE also stated, “In order to best address the Nation’s nuclear waste needs going forward, the Administration has requested $120 million in recently released FY18 budget proposal to advance the nation’s nuclear waste management program, and the Department hopes to pursue that process as expeditiously as possible.”
Todd Kenner, RESPEC CEO, noted that first and foremost he appreciates the communities and residents of Haakon County. He said, “I thought we had great public meetings and respectful dialogue.”
He added that he appreciated the respectful, positive manner, that people had at the meetings. “It’s good to know that we are capable of doing that,” he said. “I truly commend the residents of Haakon County.”
Jones echoed those sentiments. She too, appreciated the meetings where issues were discussed in a calm manner.
Kenner noted that there had been no prior indication before Tuesday’s statement that the project would be canceled. He said the announcement coincided with the end of phase one of the project. He added that they knew of President Donald Trump’s interest in pursing Yucca Mountain again.