March 2018

Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice

image by Rachel Abeyta

The Nuclear Issues Study Group proudly participated in the 2018 New Mexico Legislative Session. Our primary focus at the Roundhouse was to educate legislators about the threat of High-Level Radioactive Waste coming to New Mexico and to ask them for support to address this issue. Right now, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is processing an application from Holtec International (working with Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance) to build a nuclear waste facility between Carlsbad and Hobbs. This would be a "temporary" waste dump referred to as Centralized "Interim " Storage (CIS), which would hold all of the nation’s commercial waste from nuclear power plants for up to 120 years.

In a collective effort, our group worked with Sen. Cisco McSorley and Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard and many others on a letter from New Mexico legislators to NRC requesting that they slow down the licensing process in order to thoroughly study how this waste could impact New Mexico before approving Holtec’s application. In total, 21 representatives and 9 senators signed onto this letter! We accomplished this by talking to our officials before the session, while participating at Anti-Racism and Environment Days at the Roundhouse, and during the session. Help came from UNM students, SEED Coalition from Texas, and community members from southeastern NM.

The reality is that there are 2 proposals for CIS facilities in that area (Holtec and Waste Control Specialists near Eunice on the Texas side), but the Holtec application is of utmost priority due to the upcoming public comment process expected to start this spring. As a group, we believe that dumping on New Mexico is an injustice that we must address on a local, state and national level. We will continue working toward stopping further nuclear waste from coming to our enchanted homeland. Thank you to everyone who supported this effort! Want to get involved? We meet at the P&J on the first Wednesdays of the month at 7pm. More info: protectnewmexico@gmail.com or nuclearnewmexico.com/NISG.

–by Cody Slama, image by Rachel Abeyta

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