Larry Craig, who limped away from 28 years in the U.S. Congress in 2008 after being arrested for lewd conduct in a Minnesota men's room, returns to the Idaho Statehouse this Wednesday.
Craig, who served in the Idaho Senate from 1974-1980, will join a cadre of speakers touting nuclear energy. In an afternoon presentation entitled "Idaho's Nuclear Industries - Past, Present and Future," Craig will join Department of Commerce Director Jeff Sayer, Dr. Mark Rudin of Boise State, John Kotek from a blue ribbon commission on America's nuclear future, and Idaho National Lab Director John Grossenbacher before a joint session of the Senate Resources and Environment Committee and the House Environment, Energy and Technology Committee.
Approximately one in five jobs in the Idaho Falls area depends on the INL. The 8,000 employees make on average $80,000 a year. Counting the contractors and subcontractors, more than 24,000 jobs are supported by INL dollars, according to Partnership in Science and Technology.
In February 2012, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter created the Leadership in Nuclear Energy, or LINE, commission, and chose Sayer to lead the initiative.
When the commission released a draft of its recommendations in December, one of them drew most of the attention: a proposal to revisit an agreement reached between the federal government and the state in 1995. The agreement caps the amount of spent nuclear fuel that can be shipped to Idaho. It also provides the state the ability to fine the federal government if it doesn’t treat all radioactive waste and remove all spent fuel from the Idaho desert by 2035.