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25 million Blacks, Latinos missing from voter databases; major news organizations urge Biden and Trump to commit to presidential debates; NM gun-control advocates praise federal rule closing 'gun show loophole; Arkansas group raising awareness during Black Maternal Health Week.

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House Republicans want citizenship proof for federal election voting, under White House pressure Israel shows restraint after Iran's attack and Trump's hush money trial starts.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

Fed Board Meets in ID to Discuss Nuclear Waste Storage

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023   

Federal officials are in Idaho to discuss where to store nuclear waste. The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, an independent federal agency, is holding two meetings in Idaho Falls. The first is today and will feature a workshop on the siting of radioactive waste facilities. Wednesday's board meeting will focus on the Energy Department's consent-based siting process for waste.

Don Hancock, the nuclear waste program director for the Southwest Research and Information Center, said the consent-based process fell by the wayside during the Trump administration but has become a focus again under President Biden.

"They're starting off saying we think we want to come up with a consent-based process to see if we can store spent fuel for some considerable period of time," he explained. "But people would be consenting to temporary storage as opposed to permanent disposal."

Hancock added the Obama administration decided the siting process should prioritize temporary sites rather than long-term geological storage and the Biden administration has picked up there. The public can be involved in both Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board's meetings this week, either in person or online.

Hancock noted that Boise State University was selected by the Energy Department to receive $2 million dollars to study consent-based siting. However, he added it is not clear what that means for Idaho.

"An important question that I think people of Idaho would want to know is does Boise State and their partners think that what they're doing now and what they could be doing down the line is having Idaho consent to being this kind of interim storage site?," he said.

Boise State University did not respond to a request for comment by the deadline for this story.


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