WPR News
7:13 am
Thu July 19, 2007

Group Watches Fire At Idaho National Lab Closely

Laramie, WY – A fire near a federal nuclear facility in Idaho has a Jackson-area anti-nuclear group watching carefully. The wildfire is burning about eight miles away from a complex of buildings at the Idaho National Laboratory. The lab sits about 90 miles from Jackson.

Lab officials say there is no danger to the facility. But Mary Woollen of the group Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free, says the National Lab should be giving the public more specific information.

"They need to put public health concerns before their own bureaucratic interests and public relations and the history of that is not a good one. So right now we're just trying to be vigilant and get as much information as we can about it," Woollen said.

Woollen says she thinks that a fire in 2000 may have put public health at risk when it came into the area of the lab's Reactor Technology Complex. But the lab maintains that the fire did no damage to facilities and did not hurt anyone.

For the current fire, firefighters have made double trenches with bulldozers and have back-burned an area to keep the fire from getting any closer to the facility.