Residents get vocal about a proposed radioactive waste disposal plant

Feb 16, 2017

CBS7 News
By Brianna Gallegos

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.

Padilla is a mother and with her husband, they are raising their three children in Andrews. She told CBS 7 she is not planning on moving from the town she calls home but will protect her children’s future and speak against allowing a high-level radioactive waste disposal plant in Andrews.

"We do not want it here in Andrews. I think that our lives and the health of our children, the Heath of future generations should not have a cost," Padilla said as she represented her fellow community members who share her same concern.

During the public input meeting, dozens of people held "we don’t want it" signs and even the youngest residents wore signs asking to consider their future, but not everyone saw eye to eye.

"We think it’s scientifically based and it’s safe," Lynn Wilson, also a resident of Andrews said.

Wilson and her husband moved to Andrews in 1967. Since then Wilson said she has seen Waste Control Specialist grow and earn her trust.

Waste Control Specialist applied for a license to place a high-level radioactive waste disposal 30 miles west of Andrews. WCS said the plant will bring high paying jobs with it. According to the NRC the disposal plant will be federally regulated and not a permanent location. WCS also said the waste disposal is danger-free.

"It’s shielded in really strong robust containers and there’s been a long history of this around the globe of shipping canisters," WRC CEO, Rob Baltzer said.

Geologist and former university professor, Steven Schafersman, said the nuclear waste can eat through its surrounding no matter how much metal or concrete there may be.

However WSC said engineers will be working on site taking secure safety measures.

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.