On November 20, 2017, James Findlay, former owner and operator of Sawtooth Fusion, LLC, Meridian, Idaho, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Boise, Idaho, to 12 months’ probation for violations of the Clean Water Act. Per the terms of his probation, he cannot possess radioactive materials that would require a General or Specific license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or possess any products containing uranium. He is required to submit to any and all personal property searches.
The investigation disclosed that between 2012 and 2014, Findlay—who operated a medical research company out of his apartment—obtained quantities of depleted uranium from an aircraft salvage company in large blocks with a combined weight of approximately 50 pounds. He chemically extracted uranium through a process that included soaking it in muriatic acid and then discharged some of the materials into a sink and into the Boise sewer system. At no time did Boise Public Works authorize, permit, or approve Findlay’s discharge of the materials into the sewer system.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation jointly with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division and the NRC Office of Investigations.