Two Additional NRC meetings are to be held in New Mexico!
This is your chance to speak out against the dangerous plan to import high-level radioactive waste from US nuclear reactors around the country and store it for up to 120 years at a site between Hobbs and Carlsbad.
Gallup – Monday, May 21, 2018
Open House from 5 pm to 6 pm; Public Scoping from 6 pm to 9 pm
Gallup Downtown Conference Center, 204 W. Coal Avenue, Gallup, NM 87301
Albuquerque – Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Open House from 5 pm to 6 pm; Public Scoping from 6 pm to 9 pm
Crowne Plaza, 1901 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102
The scoping period for Holtec’s application has been extended. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will take public scoping comments until July 30, 2018.
How can you submit comments?
New Mexico Legislature: Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee
May 18, 2018 – 1 PM
State Capitol, Room 307 in Santa Fe, NM
Items 2 and 3 on the Agenda
Letters to the NRC an be sent from this link: https://action.citizen.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13813.
Download, personalize and mail the sample comment letter here:
To download a petition you can use to gather signatures:
News and Videos
- "We Don’t Want It "Says Group Concerned about Potential Radioactive Waste Impacts on Health, Safety and Existing Industries
Press Release 04/30/18
- Nuclear waste could be headed to West Texas under house bill
Houston Chronicle 5/10/18
- Congress keen on N.M. interim storage, locals not so much
E&E News 5/9/18
- Public Meeting on Proposed Lea Co. Interim Nuke Storage Site Slated for Tuesday
Seminole Sentinel 04/27/18
- Activists protest nuclear storage proposal
Roswell Daily Record 04/13/18
- Nuclear waste storage concerns expressed
KOB4 Eyewitness News 04/12/18
All the Nation’s High Level Nuclear Waste Coming to New Mexico?
Together We Can Protect Our Lands and Way of Life
- Residents Seek to Protect New Mexico from Nation’s Most Dangerous Radioactive Waste – Press Release 4/10/18
- Alliance For Environmental Strategies – Press Release 3/01/18
- Letter from NM House Members to the NRC
- Letter from NM Senators to the NRC
- Faith Leaders write to the NRC about high-level radioactive waste
December 9, 2017
Groups plan opposition to proposed nuclear fuel site
A group of about 40 environmental activists and non-nuclear waste organizers, including people from Roswell, are deciding how best to protest a planned interim storage site in Lea County for spent nuclear fuel.
Proponents say the project will benefit the nation as it seeks solutions to a costly problem about disposing of waste and will benefit the region in terms of jobs and federal money for local projects.
- Holtec and Eddy Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA) seek to build a high-level radioactive waste storage facility just between Hobbs and Carlsbad, NM, where they want to store 100,000 metric tons of this dangerous waste for up to 120 years – 40 years through initial licensing and 80 years for license extensions. Holtec hopes to begin construction in 2020 and complete Phase 1 in 1.5 years, with operation beginning in 2022.
- Holtec plans for a nationwide dump. 78,000 metric tons irradiated fuel have already been produced by U.S. nuclear reactors, so Holtec’s application would cover every bit of what has already been produced, plus all that is likely to be generated by today’s reactors by the time they close.
- If the NRC approves the license, thousands of shipments of deadly radioactive waste would move across the nation for over 20 years, posing risks from accidents, leaks and terrorist actions.
- Some radiation would leak from transport containers. The NRC says that this the amount is minimal, but there could be impacts for those along transport routes or for someone who gets stuck next to a train.
- If New Mexico or Texas accepts deadly high-level radioactive waste for storage, the sites would likely become de facto permanent disposal sites for the whole country. Utilities would no longer be lobbying for a final repository and thus Congress wouldn’t fund one. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) raised this issue in their 2014 report on high-level radioactive waste.
- We can predict transportation routes, but they wouldn’t actually be designated and approved by USDOT and the NRC until 2022, when licensing could be complete. Citizens and policymakers need to know the routes before a decision to license radioactive consolidated radioactive waste storage is made.
- High-level radioactive waste 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. Plutonium remains
dangerous for over a quarter of a million years. Inhaling it causes cancer.
- About 100,000 metric tons of irradiated fuel will have been generated by existing U.S. reactors by the time they cease operating, with roughly 1000 metric tons of plutonium. If separated, that’s enough plutonium for 120,000 nuclear bombs.
- A report by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (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.
- DOE calculated that train transport would have an accident rate of 1 in 10,000 shipments. At least one train accident was expected to occur if transport was mainly by train. Over 10,000 shipments were anticipated for Yucca Mountain.
- A DOE report found 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 time consuming. It could cost up to $9.5 billion to raze and rebuild the most heavily contaminated square mile.
- Each railcar of high-level radioactive waste would carry roughly the amount of plutonium that was contained in the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. (not in bomb grade form)
Map: New Mexico Sate Rail System in 2014
Nuclear waste could be headed to West Texas under house bill
"The whole nation could be at risk from an unprecedented mass movement of high-level radioactive waste across the nation, with 10,000 rail cars of deadly waste being transported over a period of 20 or more years," said Karen Hadden, director of the Austin-based advocacy group Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition.
HR 3053 passed in the US House – May 10, 2018
Thanks to Texas Representatives Joaquin Castro, Lloyd Doggett, Al Green, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Beto O’Rourke and New Mexico Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujan for voting against HR 3053, a bill that removes barriers to storing radioactive waste in Texas and New Mexico. The bill still has to go to the Senate, where opposition is expected to be stronger than in the House of Representatives.