Mar 28 2014

Delegation Says BEA Extension at INL Well-Deserved

DOE move means continuation of employment and expertise at Idaho Lab

Washington, D.C. – Members of Idaho’s Congressional Delegation say today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to extend the operations contract of the Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) at the Idaho National Laboratory is well-deserved and good for the continuation of employment and expertise at the Lab.

“The workers and leadership of the Battelle Energy Alliance have earned this recognition by the Department of Energy,” said Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.  “This announcement is just the latest example of why the INL is truly an asset to Idaho and our nation.  It is the world-class capabilities of BEA’s skilled workforce that is leading the nation in energy and security solutions.”

“Battelle Energy Alliance has led the Idaho National Laboratory to new heights of achievement”, said Idaho Senator Jim Risch. “ As the nation’s preeminent nuclear energy laboratory, the INL’s nuclear expertise continues to be recognized and utilized across America and the globe.   And the lab has added to the miraculous work that it is known for with its efforts on national security technology, developing technologies that keep our country safe.  I commend the Department of Energy for ensuring continuity in the contract so that the exemplary work being done at the lab can move forward without distraction or interruption.”

“We are pleased the Department of Energy has opted to extend Battelle Energy Alliance’s contract to manage Idaho National Laboratory,” said Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson.  “This decision brings consistency to the vision of INL as the nation’s lead nuclear energy research and development facility. The lab’s talented scientists, engineers, and support staff are conducting vitally important work for our nation’s energy security, and also contributing to the region’s economic stability. We’re proud to support the expansion of nuclear energy through the work performed at INL.”

Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC’s present contract to operate and manage the INL had been set to expire at the end of September of this year.  The DOE says the decision was based on BEA’s “proven performance and success” in managing the site.

Congressman Simpson is Chairman of the U.S House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the Department of Energy.  Senator Risch is a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, with jurisdiction over the Department of Energy.  Senator Crapo is a member of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure, and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety.

The delegation members note that the INL has had a scientific research and nuclear engineering presence in Southeastern Idaho for sixty years and has built, operated and tested 51 nuclear reactors in that time.  Today, it is the lead nuclear energy laboratory for DOE’s office of Nuclear Energy, supporting domestic civilian energy priorities along with key defense and homeland security initiatives.