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Great Seal of the State of Idaho


News Release

November 3, 2012

CONTACT: Jon Hanian
(208) 334-2100


(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today encouraged the people of Idaho to review the progress of his Leadership in Nuclear Energy (LINE) Commission and to begin a public dialogue on critical questions facing the Idaho National Laboratory and their potential impact on Idaho’s economy.

“The timing was right for an extensive, external review of INL and nuclear-related activities in Idaho,” Governor Otter said. “I think this progress report clearly points out that the environmental cleanup envisioned by my predecessors has largely been realized while at the same time we’ve established INL as the nation’s preeminent nuclear research and development laboratory. There’s been significant economic benefit to the entire state. As we sustain and even try to build on that in the future, the Commission is working to answer some tough questions and I applaud its effort to involve the public in that discussion before making final recommendations.”

LINE Commission Chairman Jeffery Sayer, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, established five subcommittees that performed detailed research on key topics. Non-Commission members with valuable knowledge and perspectives were invited to participate in the subcommittee process. Subcommittees came up with more than 60 recommendations for the public and the full Commission to consider.

“While the findings and recommendations of the various subcommittees are preliminary, in keeping with its commitment to an open and inclusive process the LINE Commission believes that public review and comment at this juncture will provide valuable insights necessary to complete a final report,” Chairman Sayer said. “Specifically, the Commission is looking for comments on seven challenging questions facing the INL and the nuclear industry – and how the State of Idaho can navigate through those challenges.”

In its final report to the Governor, the Commission will use the subcommittee recommendations, input from the public and its own deliberations to finalize recommendations on the following questions:

  1. What strategic role can the INL and Idaho’s nuclear industry play in the country’s energy future?
  2. In light of reduced federal spending, what impacts may affect INL and what role can Idaho play to protect INL research and cleanup funding?
  3. What broad environmental risks are posed by nuclear technologies and what mitigating steps are reasonable to protect public health and the environment from current and future applications of nuclear technology in Idaho?
  4. Where is nuclear technology going and what role and/or opportunities exist for INL and Idaho companies in those technology developments?
  5. Given the Blue Ribbon Commission focus on consent-based siting and the suspension of the Yucca Mountain repository, in what way can Idaho’s 1995 Settlement Agreement protect the State’s interests to support and enhance research and development at INL and complete the cleanup mission?
  6. How can Idaho’s universities influence, support and participate in the future of nuclear energy, nuclear workforce development, and advancements in nuclear technologies?
  7. Following the impacts of the Fukushima tsunami and the recent market impact of natural gas, what future role will nuclear energy play in the nation’s energy policies and what can Idaho do to prepare for that future?

“The conversation about nuclear energy in Idaho is of utmost importance; thus, the entire state and interested national parties need to be included,” Sayer said. “Receiving meaningful feedback from interested parties will be a valuable resource for the Commission as it develops final recommendations to the Governor.”

The LINE Commission’s Progress Report and the complete subcommittee recommendations are available on the LINE Commission’s Web site at Governor Otter receives progress report from nuclear commission; applauds effort to answer tough questions . Public comments can be submitted to the Commission on that same Web site or through the U.S. mail at:

LINE Commission

c/o Idaho Department of Commerce

700 W State St.

PO Box 83720

Boise, ID 83720-0093

Please submit comments by close of business on Friday, January 4, 2013. Comments received will be considered by the Commission as it prepares a final report to the Governor, which will be submitted by January 31, 2013.


EDITORS: Attached to this news release are answers to frequently asked questions about the LINE Commission process here .

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