The Department of Energy is abandoning its plan to build the first U.S. nuclear-waste incinerator in southern Idaho, a change of course applauded by environmental and community groups that had raised a lot of money and waged a high-profile battle against the facility. The DOE announced its decision yesterday as part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit that enviro groups had filed. The plaintiffs were concerned that winds might have blown radioactive and toxic dust across western Wyoming, an area that includes Yellowstone National Park and Jackson, a wealthy resort community where the main incinerator opposition group, Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free, is based. The settlement also calls for a panel of experts to study alternatives to incineration as a method of nuclear waste disposal.
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