b'C H A P T E R 24T H E U RA N I U M T RA I L F A D E S1986. He had returned to the state afterserving the Carter administration andtook office after John Evans completedhis second term. Andrus knew that thedecade of the 1970s had passed withoutDOE removing any buried waste fromthe INEL. But he could also see thatduring the 1980s, DOE had prepared adeep underground salt cavern nearCarlsbad, New Mexico, to isolate andstore the waste. In 1988 the WasteIsolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) seemednearly ready to open. 11In September 1988 Andrus and DonOfte, who had followed Troy Wade asIDO manager in 1987, went to New Idaho State JournalMexico for a first-hand look at the and make it pertinent to the national Shoshone-Bannock tribal police block trainWIPP. While there, Andrus was unable government and other states as well. As shipment of Naval spent fuel.to extract from DOE officials an open- he wrote later, he had learned from hising date for the plant. New Mexico experience as a cabinet secretary thatopponents were promoting delay, and the government in our nations capitol broken their word too many times,Andrus feared that the decade of the reacts only to crises. He set out to cre- Andrus said of DOEs failure to open1980s also would pass without any ate one. 13 W I P P. They cannot give us a date.waste leaving Idaho. Meanwhile, DOE turned the Blackfoot car aroundRocky Flats continued sending waste to On October 20, 1988, after DOE off i- and sent it back to Rocky Flats. 14the INEL. For Andrus, the predicament cially postponed the opening of W IPP, with the INEL had not changed. As he Andrus ordered the Idaho State Police to The governors actions did not openhad observed more than once, the INEL stop at the border any railcars bringing W IPP, but it shut off the flow ofwas of enormous importance to the shipments from Rocky Flats to INEL. Rocky Flats waste to the INEL. ItIdaho economy. It seemed that the only The order stranded a boxcar that had might also have shut off shipments ofway to ensure public confidence in the come as far as Blackfoot but had not TMI fuel to Idaho, but Ofte persuadedINEL was to protect its environmental completed its journey to the INEL. DOE Andrus not to:integrity and restore the Sites credibili- honored the closure and turned away aty with the public. That meant remov- shipment from Illinois before it had a Not long after Rocky Flats shut down, Iing any reasonable possibility that the chance to reach a roadblock at the Idaho discussed with [Andrus] and his staff allaquifer could become contaminated bod e r. CBS television invited the gov- of the materials coming to the INEL.rbecause of buried radioactive waste. 12 ernor to appear on its morning news pro- The TMI fuel was controversial, andgram. On October 23, a Sunday, the A n d rus wanted to stop that, too. IAndrus contemplated what strategies a New York Ti m e spublished a photograph explained how we had been tasked tosmall state like Idaho might use to mus- of an Idaho state trooper, his arms fold- analyze the TMI accident because wecle the federal government into opening ed across his chest and eyes shaded by w e re the uniquely qualified facility in theWIPP and proceeding with the removal the visor of his hat, standing in front of c o u n t ry with the capability to do it. Weof waste from Idaho. One idea was to his patrol car guarding the boxcar. had cooperative agreements with theshine a very bright light on the problem Andrus had his bright light. They have Germans and the Japanese, and this was239'