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New Mexico leaders oppose Holtec nuclear waste site proposal

The opposition contended the project posed too much risk and could upend other major industries in the region like agriculture …

”This leaves us extremely concerned that ‘interim’ storage sites …. will become the country’s de facto permanent nuclear waste storage facilities.  We cannot accept that result.”

New Mexico leaders oppose Holtec International nuclear waste site proposed near Carlsbad, Adrian HeddenCarlsbad Current-Argus  6 Jul 21,  New Mexico’s top Democrat political leaders voiced their opposition to a proposed storage facility for nuclear waste to be built near Carlsbad and Hobbs, warning the U.S. Department of Energy that the site could become a perpetual dumping ground as a permanent repository does not exist.

Holtec International applied for a 40-year license to build a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) at a remote location near the Eddy-Lea county line, through the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commissions (NRC) in 2017.

The company signaled it planned to file for subsequent licenses to continue to operate the facility during 20 phases which would total more than 100,000 metric tons of waste when complete.

The site would be designed to hold spent nuclear fuel rods, brought in via rail from nuclear power plants around the country, on a temporary basis while a permanent repository is built….

The opposition contended the project posed too much risk and could upend other major industries in the region like agriculture and fossil fuels.

In the July 2 letter, New Mexico Democrat U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan, U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Holtec’s proposal contained no plan for permanent disposal of the waste and thus risked leaving it in New Mexico forever.

Lujan Grisham was a frequent critic of the project since its inception, calling the proposal “economic malpractice” for the risk she said it posed to other industries.

The lawmakers also opposed a similar proposal to expand a facility owned by Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas along that state’s western border with New Mexico, to also hold the spent fuel.

“We are strongly opposed to the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) in New Mexico. There is currently no permanent disposal strategy for SNF and HLW in place at the Department of Energy,” the letter read.

“This leaves us extremely concerned that ‘interim’ storage sites with initial 40-year leases, like one proposed for (the NRC) licensing in New Mexico, will become the country’s de facto permanent nuclear waste storage facilities.  We cannot accept that result.”

New Mexico had already seen the impacts of radiation exposure, the letter read, resulting from uranium mining and other activities in the state………….. https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/local/2021/07/06/new-mexico-leaders-oppose-holtec-nuclear-waste-site-near-carlsbad/7872429002/

July 8, 2021 - Posted by | politics, USA, wastes

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