Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group | Ft. Hall, Idaho



The Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group (NETWG) is a chartered working group, focused on engaging tribal governments interested in the broad spectrum of Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear energy activities.

NETWG meeting attendees at Ft. Hood, Idaho.NETWG explores such topics as nuclear research and development, small module reactors, stakeholder outreach, STEM education, emergency response and planning activities, and potential economic business opportunities. On April 18-21, 2016 NETWG convened at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel, Ft. Hall, Idaho for its second quarterly meeting in 2016.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Informal Meeting and Dinner

Tribal members and meeting attendees gathered for an informal dinner at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel. Discussions focused on background and preparation for the tour of Idaho National Laboratory the following day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s complex of national laboratories. INL is the nation’s lead laboratory for nuclear energy research, demonstration, and deployment. INL performs work in energy, national security, science, and the environment. INL is located Northeast of the Ft. Hall Indian Reservation. The Shoshone-Bannock tribes are actively involved in INL activities. The Tribal DOE Office, established in 1992, provides oversight and monitoring of activities at INL. The program was established through a cooperative agreement with DOE and Shoshone-Bannock tribes.

Tour of the Idaho National Laboratory

Donald Miley, Idaho National Laboratory

  • Tour Fuel Conditioning Facility, used fuel recycle research.
  • Tour Hot Fuels Examination Facility, the largest inert hot cell in the U.S. for examining used fuel or other radioactive experiments/samples.
  • Tour Irradiated Material Characterization Facility, a new facility that provides INL the same examination capabilities used on non-radioactive samples by virtually every other industry.

Protection of Cultural Resources at Idaho National Laboratory - Working Lunch

Christina Olson and Brenda Pace, Idaho National Laboratory, Cultural Resource Management Office

This presentation focused on the protection of cultural resources at INL, as well as involvement and cooperation with the Shoshone-Bannock tribes through the Heritage Tribal Office (HeTO).

Continue Tour of Idaho National Laboratory

  • Travel via shuttle to Advanced Test Reactor Complex. 
  • Tour Advanced Test Reactor, currently the largest and most versatile materials testing reactor in the world.
  • Travel via shuttle to Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC).
  • Tour INTEC, which was formerly used fuel reprocessing, currently under the Idaho Cleanup Project contract, storing used fuel, treating liquid waste from decontamination activities, and decontaminating and dismantling older facilities.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Opening Invocation - Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

Welcoming Remarks, NCSL Overview

Recap of NETWG Activities 

  • Recap of 2016 First Quarterly Meeting (Palm Springs, CA).
  • NETWG accomplishments document/key meeting highlights.
  • Status of action items from First Quarterly Meeting.

Idaho National Laboratory Q & A

Richard Provencher, U.S. DOE - Idaho | Presentation

This session provided additional background information on the Idaho National Laboratory and answered questions regarding the INL tour.

Consent-Based siting Discussion

Ray Furstenau and Jay Jones, U.S. DOE Office of Nuclear Energy | Presentation

This session included an update on DOE’s consent-based siting process and upcoming public hearings. It served as an opportunity for Tribes and DOE to discuss tribal implications of a consent-based siting approach, focusing on jurisdictional issues surrounding consent.

Idaho National Laboratory - Tribal Relations

Shoshone-Bannock tribal members discussed their experiences working with Idaho National Laboratory, including the history of the program and Tribal-DOE interactions.

Update from Skull Valley Band of Goshutes Indians 

The Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians spoke to the group about issues involving interim storage. Specifically speaking to the inner-workings of the Tribe and lessons learned from the experience.

Shoshone-Bannock Cultural Event

Group walked to the nearby Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Museum. The museum has exhibits showcasing tribal history, old photographs, artifacts from the Old Fort Hall, and unique beadwork. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Update from other Tribal Working Group Activities

  • NETWG members will give updates on issues and activities relating to nuclear energy development and waste storage and transportation. 
  • Other related working group updates.
  • Transportation Core Group update.

Quarterly Meeting Planning and Next Steps

  • Discussion of upcoming quarterly meetings.
  • Protocol for engaging new tribes or previously engaged tribes.

Wrap Up and Next Steps

  • Action items – for DOE, for Tribes, for NCSL.
  • Additional topics as suggested.
  • Closing invocation - Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.