NOV. 18, 2016

Feds sue to block acquisition of Dallas radioactive waste company

The U.S. Justice Department is suing to block a Salt Lake City-based company’s acquisition of Waste Control Specialists, the Dallas-based company that wants to expand the nuclear waste dump it operates in West Texas.

If the $367 million merger with proposed buyer EnergySolutions goes through, it would "combine the two most significant competitors for the disposal of low level radioactive waste (LLRW) available to commercial customers in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico," the Justice Department said in a statement announcing the civil antitrust lawsuit.

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

WCS: Environmental study amid application process makes sense

A quartet of environmental groups last month wrote the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in an attempt to sway the agency to dismiss Waste Control Specialists’ pursuit of temporarily storing high-level nuclear waste in Andrews County, where it currently has a facility to permanently store low-level nuclear waste, according to a recent Houston Chronicle report.

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Letter to NRC Regarding WCS Waste Storage Facility

October 27, 2016

Victor M. McCree, Executive Director for Operations
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, D.C. 20555
By e-mail to

SUBJECT: WCS License Application for Spent Fuel Storage Facility
In Andrews County, TX, Docket No. 72-1050

Dear Mr. McCree:

On behalf of Beyond Nuclear, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Public Citizen, Inc., and SEED Coalition, we are writing to ask you to immediately order the dismissal of Waste Control Specialists, L.L.C.’s ("WCS") application for a license for a consolidated interim spent fuel storage facility ("CISF") in Andrews County, Texas, because the terms under which WCS seeks a license for the Andrews County facility are precluded by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended ("NWPA").

WCS’ license application, filed April 28, 2016, seeks U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC") approval to build and operate a storage facility for up to 5,000 metric tons ("MT") of spent fuel at the Andrews County site. WCS also anticipates expanding the capacity of the faciliy to 40,000 MT through subsequent license amendments. Environmental Report at 1-1. NRC recently informed WCS that it has embarked on an environmental review of the WCS’ licence.

Read the full letter


The Texas / New Mexico border land is not a Wasteland. We do not want to become the nation’s radioactive waste dumping ground.

No Consent! No to High-Level Radioactive Waste

Tell the US Department of Energy that we DO NOT CONSENT plans to dump cancer-causing radioactive waste on our state… (Take Action Here)

June 30, 2016

For Immediate Release

Federal Government Says License Application Is Incomplete, Highlighting Folly of West Texas Radioactive Waste Dump Proposal

WCS Application Lacks Needed Storage Cask Safety and Site Security Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The federal government’s conclusion that Waste Control Specialists’ (WCS) omitted key safety and security information from its license application for a high-level radioactive waste dump at its Andrews County site in Texas highlights the dangers of the proposal, Public Citizen and SEED Coalition said today.

WCS seeks to expand its existing low-level waste site to take high-level radioactive waste from across the country. If approved, spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors around the country would be transported to Texas and stored for 40 years or longer, risking the possibility of creating a de-facto permanent disposal facility.

Read full press release…

Related Content: WCS Application for CISF License

Halting High Level Waste presentation

We DO NOT CONSENT! Sign-up for updates here:

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What if these trains had been high-level dangerous radioactive waste?

Two trains wreck in Texas

April 28, 2016


For immediate Release
April 28, 2016

Karen Hadden, SEED Coalition, 512-797-8481
Tom "Smitty" Smith, Public Citizen, 512-797-8468

Tx High Level Waste Trasport Routes

High-Level Radioactive Waste is High-Risk
Radioactive Waste Risks include Accidents and Sabotage

(Austin) A high-level consolidated radioactive waste storage site has been proposed for Andrews County, Texas, by Waste Control Specialists (WCS). The company expects to submit a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) this week and to have licensing and construction completed by the end of 2020.

"This plan is all risk, not only for the states of Texas and New Mexico, but for the whole country and it should be halted immediately," said Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas Office. "Why is our region being targeted to become the nation’s dumping ground for high-risk high-level radioactive waste? Putting this waste on our highways and railways invites disaster. Radioactive waste moving through highly populated cities across the country could be targeted for sabotage by terrorists." A state report, the Assessment of Texas’ High-Level Radioactive Waste Storage Options, says that "spent nuclear fuel is more vulnerable to sabotage or accidents during transport than in storage because there are fewer security guards and engineered barriers, and that the consequences could be higher since the waste could travel through large cities." Read the full press release….


People who care about the land, air and water of West Texas and New Mexico, and the health and safety of people here and along
radioactive waste transport routes

"We do not consent to radioactive waste being dumped on our land or to transporting nuclear waste across the country."

Two Companies, WCS and AFCI, seek to bring HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE from the nation’s nuclear reactors to TEXAS

train slilloverHigh-level radioactive waste is the most dangerous of all radioactive materials. Contamination resulting from Fukushima meltdown disaster came from this same source – irradiated fuel from nuclear reactors.

High-level radioactive waste is mainly irradiated fuel rods from nuclear reactors that contain uranium and plutonium, which known to result in cancer if inhaled.

The fuel rods are still radioactively "hot," even after being in the reactor fuel pool for 5 – 10 years. An unshielded person 3 feet away from spent fuel rods would be immediately incapacitated and die within a week – according the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Radiation exposure can damage a person’s DNA, leading to birth defects, and cause many kinds of cancers, radiation sickness and death.

Nevada fought burial of high-level radioactive waste at the Yucca Mountain site for decades. Other states have fought as well. Even Texas. Deaf Smith County in the Texas Panhandle was considered as a permanent repository site before Yucca Mountain was chosen, but ranchers and farmers fought hard due to concerns about radioactive water contamination.

What to Do About High-Level Radioactive Waste?

No dumping allowed

Centralized (Consolidated) Storage is unwise and is NOT needed. The least risky option is to remove irradiated fuel from reactor fuel pools and let it continue to cool in dry casks at the site where it was generated. Reactors are being licensed to store waste for 60 years past decommissioning, and the sites will remain guarded anyway.

Shipping this dangerous waste by rail or truck introduces risks of terrorism, as well as accidents. No permanent repository is available to dispose of wastes. Why ship it at all?

concerned citizencitizen hearing


  • Two West Texas counties, Andrews and Culberson, are proposed as potential sites for the centralized storage of dangerous high-level radioactive waste from nuclear reactors around the country, by Waste Control Specialists (WCS) and Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) could later be considered for permanent disposal as well.
  • Importing high-level radioactive waste imperils our health and lives with risks of accidents, radiation releases, leaks or terrorist actions.
  • High-level radioactive waste is so dangerous that it must remain isolated from living things for thousands of years. It is mainly irradiated (spent) fuel rods from nuclear reactors, which still contain most of their original uranium, as well as with radioactive strontium, cesium and plutonium, which are created during the reactor fission process. Some of these materials have long half-lives, and remain dangerous for long periods of time. For example, plutonium remains dangerous for over a quarter of a million years. Inhaling it is a sure way to get cancer.
  • There will be about 100,000 metric tons of irradiated fuel generated by existing U.S. reactors by the time they cease operating, with roughly 1000 metric tons of plutonium. If separated, there would be enough plutonium for 120,000 nuclear bombs. If diluted uniformly, the strontium-90 in would be enough the contaminate the entire fresh water supply of the world to about 60 times the U.S. drinking water standard.
  • TCEQ acknowledges the vulnerability of radioactive waste to sabotage during transport, and that " consequences due to sabotage or accidents are also higher during transport since the waste may be near population centers."
  • Centralized (consolidated) Interim Storage of the nation’s high-level waste at a single location would increase risks by creating an additional site that must be secured.
  • DOE calculated an accident rate of 1 in 1000. If radioactive waste is shipped to a storage site, and then to a final repository, there would be more truck shipments and the number of likely accidents would also increase. Transport could be by rail as well, although tracks might have to be improved.
  • A DOE contractor reported that a severe accident involving one radioactive waste cask that released only a small amount of waste would contaminate a 42 square mile area, with cleanup costs exceeding $620 million in a rural area. Clean up in an urban area would be more time consuming and it could cost up to $9.5 billion to raze and rebuild the most heavily contaminated square mile.
  • Importing high-level radioactive waste might benefit a few corporations, but millions of Texans and others along transport routes in other states would bear the financial and health risks of accidents or sabotage.


  1. Managing Spent Fuel and High-Level Waste: Strategic Considerations, Oct. 4, 2014, Presentation at Earth, Wind and Fire Summit, Dallas, Texas. Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
  2. TCEQ’s Assessment of Texas’s High Level Radioactive Waste Storage Options, March 2014, Page 30.
  3. Managing Spent Fuel and High-Level Waste: Strategic Considerations, Oct. 4, 2014, Presentation at Earth, Wind and Fire Summit, Dallas, Texas. Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
  4. Fact sheet. Transportation of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste to a Repository, Section 4.