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Holtec defends plans for nuclear waste storage facility in New Mexico

Company defends plans for nuclear waste storage facilithttps://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Holtec-defends-plans-for-nuclear-waste-storage-13558485.php, Jan. 24, 2019 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Jersey-based company on Thursday defended plans to build a multibillion-dollar facility in the New Mexico desert to store spent fuel from commercial reactors around the United States, citing long-standing yet unmet obligations by the federal government to find a permanent solution for dealing with the tons of waste building up at the nation’s nuclear power plants.

The project proposed by Holtec International would allow for spent fuel rods to be transferred from dozens of sites around the country to a more secure temporary home in southeastern New Mexico, said Jay Silberg, an attorney representing the company.

“We believe that this is an extremely important facility for this nation,” Silberg told members of a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel during the second day of a public meeting in Albuquerque.

It will be up to the panel to decide which environmental and nuclear watchdog groups have standing to intervene in the case and which objections they can pursue as federal regulators weigh whether to grant a license to Holtec.

Reams of documents have already been submitted to the commission, and the overall process is expected to be lengthy.

A Texas-based company also has applied for a license to expand its existing hazardous waste facility in Andrews County to include an area where spent fuel could be temporarily stored.

Opponents have raised concerns about the legality of the project, the safety of transporting the high-level waste across the country and the potential exposure and water and soil contamination if something were to go wrong along the way or at the site once the material was delivered.

Attorneys for the Sierra Club, Beyond Nuclear and other groups also are worried that risks could escalate if Holtec is allowed to reject and return damaged, leaking or contaminated casks that are transported to New Mexico.

The attorneys also focused on the proposed location, which is more than 30 miles from the nearest city but still in the heart of a congested region that’s experiencing a major oil and gas boom.

Holtec experts testified that there’s no evidence of land caving in at the site, that earthquakes are not believed to be a credible threat and that while it would not be able to repackage the waste if a container is damaged, it would be able to “take steps” to remedy problems that might arise.

Carlsbad City Councilor Jason Shirley told the panel that his community supports the project, saying it would result in more jobs and local tax revenue.

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January 26, 2019 - Posted by | USA, wastes

1 Comment »

  1. In Murica it don’t matter how rich u are anymore. The environment is so polluted ,with radionuclides and other crap. Some p eople are very lucky enough not to one of these before age 60: cancer, diabetes, heart trouble, early dementia , major chronic systemic illness. Premature dementia and heart disease are becoming big ones. Busby is right that open air bomb nuke testing, teratogenically damaged most , if not all Americans stem cells, in the womb of late baby boomers. Then Murica was massively inundated with nuclear waste and radioniclides from then on. Almost all water in America has uranium and or radium in in it and in many places AMERICIUM.
    Now they wanna finnish us off . muricans are so stupid they will let em do it.

    Comment by Dg | January 26, 2019 | Reply


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