The Streisand Foundation has pledged up to $25,000 to the campaign against construction of the Special Isotope Separation project, proposed for the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory.
Officials said the foundation, an endowment set up by entertainer Barbra Streisand to finance various environmental interests, will match contributions from others to the campaign up to the $25,000 maximum.The Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmental organization, mailed out letters to its 300 Idaho supporters and some others in November, soliciting donations to fight development of the laser-driven weapons-grade pluto-nium refinery in eastern Idaho.
Council officials declined to say how much money they had raised in the campaign.
Attorney Dan Reicher, the organization's chief spokesman against the project, predicted the billion-dollar project would come under another attack when Congress convenes next month. Opponents managed to withhold any construction money this year until the Energy Department proves the facility is needed.
Reicher said the continuing thaw in U.S.-Soviet relations, a growing acceptance that the American plutonium stockpile is adequate, and the mounting bill for clean-up at U.S. nuclear weapons facilities are making the case for the SIS "weaker and weaker."
"I think there are many members who see there are many more important projects DOE should be focusing its limited resources on - both clean-up and production," he said.
The Snake River Alliance, an-Idaho based environmental group, has already said it will likely go to court to challenge the adequacy of the environmental assessment issued last week on the project. That assessment maintained the SIS would not be a threat to the environment or public health.