Public Meeting on Proposed Lea Co. Interim Nuke Storage Site Slated for Tuesday

April 27, 2018

Seminole Sentinel

HOBBS, N.M. — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will meet and take public comments on a proposed interim nuclear storage waste site in western Lea County.
The NRC team will be in Hobbs at the Lea County Event Center on Tuesday evening, May 1 from 7-10 p.m. MST.

Another NRC public meeting the proposed Holtec interim storage site will be in Carlsbad on May 3 at the Eddy County Fire Service.

Meanwhile, opponents of the project are rallying their forces, including public meetings and a scheduled mock cask tour.

Holtec applied for a license initially to store 500 canisters, about 8,680 metric tons, of spent nuclear fuel, radioactive fissile material, from the nation’s commercial power plants until the federal government can establish a permanent disposal site.

The 1,045-acre land on which Holtec proposes to construct the HI-STORE CIS (Consolidated Interim Storage) facility, on the Lea County side of the Eddy-Lea counties line, is owned by the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA). The alliance is a partnership between the cities of Hobbs and Carlsbad and the counties of Lea and Eddy.

The planned facility, located roughly 70 miles south, southwest of the Seminole community, is a subterranean storage system with a maximum storage capacity of 10,000 canisters, a total of more than 100,000 metric tons.

Waste Control Specialists submitted similar plans in 2016 for a smaller facility in Andrews County, not far from the New Mexico border.

The licensing process could take years, and it’s unclear how discussions of reviving the mothballed disposal site at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain could affect the proposals for temporary storage.

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