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Haakon County Deep Borehole Field Test Cancelled By DOE


The Department of Energy is cancelling the test of four different sites in the United States to see if they’re feasible for storing nuclear waste.
One of those proposed sites was in Haakon County, in Western South Dakota.
A Rapid City engineering firm was vying for a several million dollar grant to drill a three mile hole into the ground just north of Philip. That spot was one of four in the country the Department of Energy was exploring to see if it was feasible to store nuclear waste underground.
Department of Energy officials say changes in budget priorities regarding nuclear waste policy led to their decision in cancelling the project.
Todd Kenner is the CEO of RESPEC. Kenner and RESPEC were given and initial grant by the D-O-E to inform the public about the project. He says he’s disappointed the deep borehole field test project was stopped…
“All indications prior to today was to move into phase 2, which would start the technical aspects of the project, the preliminary drill plan, so, more information being available on specifics," Kenner says. "It’s unfortunate, but we also understand that there’s limited funds available for research and dealing with issues such as disposal of high level waste, so decisions have to be made.”
Three other sites in Texas and New Mexico were also in consideration for the Deep Borehole Field Testing project. The DOE contended that no nuclear waste would be stored in these initial boreholes, but rather be used for research.
Officials say the Trump Administration has requested $120 million in the FY18 to explore a different nuclear waste management program. The Feds are re-looking at Yucca Mountain in Nevada to store the country’s nuclear waste.