Organizers of a federal effort to assess whether nuclear waste can be stored in 3-mile-deep holes are trying to better explain their intentions to South Dakota residents after getting rebuffed in North Dakota over concerns that waste might eventually be stored there.
Battelle, a nonprofit group hired to manage the U.S. Department of Energy project, is considering whether sites in Spink County, South Dakota, would suffice for the study of whether deep rock is suitable for nuclear waste disposal, the contractor said Thursday.
The deep borehole field test will not involve any radioactive waste, officials said. Organizers are planning at least two open meetings in Spink County near the end of April to answer questions from the community about the proposed research, which also could involve geothermal energy.
"We want to be upfront and open and honest with the communities that we reside in and that we conduct experiments in, and we only ask that you give us an opportunity and watch our actions," said Andrew Griffith, an Energy Department official. "We're after the science here — we're not trying to trick anybody into doing something that they don't want to do."