Feb 17, 2017

We Don’t Want It!

We Do NOT Consent – Public Scoping Meetings

NRC Scoping meetingNRC Scoping meeting

Waste Control Specialists (WCS) wants to dump 40,000 tons of deadly high-level radioactive waste, parking lot style, and store it for 40 to 100 years in the desert, where climate extremes and fracking abound. What could go wrong?

There were two NRC scoping meetings on the WCS’ radioactive waste storage license, one in Hobbs, NM (Feb. 13th) and one in Andrews, TX, (Feb. 15th).

The message came through loud and clear from local and regional folks – WE DON’T WANT IT! Last year The DOE tried to tell the rest of the country that Andrews wants this waste – but the people in targeted communities never got to vote and 90% of the people we’ve talked to are opposed.

Andrews County Commissioners passed a resolution in 2015 in favor of the ill-conceived plan that hardly anyone knew about until recently, which is hardly "informed consent."

Read more…


February 24, 2017

In West Texas, spent fuel storage seeks a foothold

ANDREWS, Texas — Tucked inside a Mexican restaurant, surrounded by newfound allies and a sizable buffet, Elizabeth Padilla appeared eager for an evening of activism.

Just days earlier, she heard details of Waste Control Specialists LLC’s plan to welcome high-level radioactive waste to West Texas. Padilla was alarmed and decided to speak out, even if Andrews County — where she lives — could see a financial boost that might delight residents.

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February 22, 2017

Bexar County commissioners say no to nuclear waste shipments

On Tuesday, Bexar County became the first county in Texas to officially oppose having high-level nuclear waste pass through the county on its way to a West Texas waste site.

The commissioners unanimously approved a resolution opposing shipments of nuclear fuel rods from more than 62 sites across the U.S., most of them operating or closed reactors used to produce power.

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Feb 16, 2017

Residents get vocal about a proposed radioactive waste disposal plant

CBS7 News
ANDREWS — Do you want a high-level radioactive waste storage site in your backyard?

That was the question posed in Andrews on Wednesday night during the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s public input meeting.

"I believe we really need to rethink about this and know that this is going to have its risks," lifelong resident of Andrews, Elizabeth Padilla, said.

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February 16, 2017

Speakers encourage NRC to rethink waste storage plan

ANDREWS — It was nearly a full house at the James Roberts Center on Wednesday night as more than two dozen people gave comments both for and against the proposed high-level nuclear waste storage site at the site of Waste Control Specialists’ low-level radioactive site.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission conducted its second of three public comment meetings as part of the scoping process for a federally required environmental impact study. The first was Monday in Hobbs, New Mexico.

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February 15, 2017

Andrews community speak up about possible high level nuclear waste site

Public Meeting in Andrews
ANDREWS, TX (KWES) – The process for a possible high level nuclear storage facility in Andrews continued with a public hearing for the community on Wednesday. Many voiced their opinion against the facility including Silvia Ramos a resident of Andrews who is worried about the health and safety of the children if the waste is stored in her city.

"It’s not good for them. It’s a high level radiation that they want to put here. I just don’t want it for my kids," said Ramos.

Waste Control Specialists, the organization who recently applied for the high-level storage facility, believed the facility would help employment and help the economy, but residents aren’t buying it.

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Feb 15, 2017

Public Forum Split Over Nuclear Facility

ANDREWS, Texas Opposition to WCS front and center at a public forum. "Everyone of the canisters carries as much plutonium as the bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki and terrorist can easily figure out how to detonate that stuff," says activist Tom Smith.

Safety hazards like this have Andrews resident Elizabeth Padilla worried as she even has her kids in on the fight. "We do not want to risk the life of our children. We do not want to risk future generations. We want to keep Andrews free of radioactive waste."

Read more…


Feb 10, 2017

Debate held on bringing high-level radioactive waste to west Texas

ANDREWS — Could your backyard be the new home to a nuclear waste site? Andrews is waiting to be licensed as a temporary holding site for radioactive waste.

Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of the Public Citizen’s Texas office spoke to the concerns of bringing a high-level radioactive site in west Texas in a meeting Thursday.

Read more…


February 9, 2017

Public Citizen: Andrews nuke waste site an open target for terrorism

A recent letter from Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway about the proposed high-level nuclear waste storage site in Andrews has prompted Midland County Democrats to act in hopes of a better solution, and they’re reaching out for help.

The Midland County Democratic Party held a press conference at the DoubleTree hotel Thursday and brought with them activist heavyweights Tom "Smitty" Smith, longtime director of Public Citizen Texas, and Karen Hadden, president of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition, better known as SEED.

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February 5, 2017

Nuke waste may be hauled through Texas

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing a permit that would allow a Dallas-based company to store high-level nuclear waste brought from reactors around the country. The waste would most likely be shipped via commercial rail.

In the high, dry plains of West Texas sits a hazardous waste site operated by Waste Control Specialists, a company that wants to begin storing high-level nuclear waste from dozens of power plants across the country.

For that waste to get to the facility in Andrews County on the Texas-New Mexico border, it would first travel on thousands of miles of railroad tracks, according to a WCS spokesman and a Federal Railroad Administration document. That could include rail lines that pass through San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, though the specifics so far are hard to come by.

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January 26, 2017

Statements on Radioactive Waste risks and NRC docketing the WCS application

The NRC announced today that they’ve docketed the application from Waste Control Specialists for a consolidated radioactive waste storage in Andrews, TX. The NRC will accept public comments on the scope of its Environmental Impact Statement for the application through March 13th.

SEED Coalition and Public Citizen will hold organizing meetings to help citizens prepare for the upcoming Feb. 13th and Feb. 15th NRC hearings to be held in Hobbs, New Mexico and Andrews, TX. Details are being finalized. An additional NRC hearing will be held the following week in Rockville, MD.

Karen Hadden, Director, Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition 512-797-8481, karendhadden(at)gmail.com:

"WCS" plan to import the most dangerous of all radioactive waste and dump it on poor communities on the Texas/New Mexico border represents environmental injustice and poses risks of accidents and terrorism and potential contamination along the transport routes throughout the country. The WCS location is close to the Ogallala Aquifer, the nation’s largest aquifer, that lies beneath eight states. A single train car load with dry casks of radioactive waste would contain as much plutonium as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The waste should remain secured in place until a scientfically viable isolation system for permanent disposal can be designed and built.

Read more…

Other Related Information Flyers:


January 26, 2017
NRC News
Nuclear Regulatory Commission – Press Release
No: 17-004 January 26, 2017
Contact: Maureen Conley, 301-415-8200

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has docketed and accepted for formal review an application from Waste Control Specialists to build and operate a spent nuclear fuel consolidated interim storage facility in Andrews, Texas. The NRC’s decision follows an acceptance review to determine whether the application contains sufficient information for the agency to begin its formal review.

WCS is seeking to store 5,000 metric tons uranium of spent fuel received from commercial nuclear power reactors across the United States.

Read more…


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

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For immediate Release
April 28, 2016
Contacts:

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….


WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

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

KEY FACTS:

radioactive
  • 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.

Citations:

  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. http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1100389-tceq-assessment-of-texas-high-level-radioactive.html
  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. http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/yucca/trfact01.htm