DAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials say an eastern Idaho radioactive waste treatment facility planned to be operational in 2012 won't be ready for months.

The U.S. Department of Energy tells the Post Register (http://www.postregister.com/node/67998 ) in a story on Thursday that malfunctions with the $571 million Integrated Waste Treatment Unit continue to cause delays.

Spokesman Richard Craun says starting up the first-of-its kind facility at the Idaho National Laboratory is very difficult.

The facility is intended to turn 900,000 gallons of liquid waste into a powder that looks like laundry detergent.

Officials say the facility had to be shut down three times this year following test runs that discovered problems that ranged from a wrong part being installed to a leak to a problem with pressurization.