High-Level Radioactive Waste Proposal in Southeast New Mexico
Senator Jeff Steinborn is the chair of the Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee and wanted to let everyone know about the proposal for a High-Level Radioactive Waste storage facility, which would store the nation’s most dangerous nuclear reactor waste in Southeast New Mexico. Holtec International and Eddy Lea Energy Alliance (ELA) would like to build a high-level radioactive waste storage facility in between Hobbs and Carlsbad, NM slightly below the surface of the ground. They aim to store 173,000 metric tons of this waste on a 1,000-acre site. Jeff explained that the first concern is that this is high-level nuclear waste, which is dangerous – the radiation from it is invisible: you cannot feel or taste it, and it could lead to potential birth defects, cancer, or death. The second concern, said Jeff, is that transporting this waste is potentially life threatening, if the waste spills. It could cost billions of taxpayer dollars if they could manage to clean it up and a spill would result in ruining the land of New Mexico which will certainly impact generations to come. The rails they would be using to transport this waste can only carry up to 143 tons per rail car and the rail cars Holtec and ELEA would be using would weigh up to 210 tons (the math doesn’t quite add up there). Transporting this also opens the potentiality of accidents, leaks, and terrorist actions, currently there are no security plans or emergency plans made for incidents like these. “Citizens and policymakers need to know now what routes would be used, before a decision is made on whether to license radioactive consolidated radioactive waste storage. The waste could travel near waterways and through major cities as well as tribal lands.” Jeff also mentioned that state representatives from other states are very happy this facility won’t be in their state.
Citizens, including leaders from the oil and gas industry, faith leaders, dairy and pecan farming industry are speaking out about safety, security, land and water contamination, and financial risks and impacts to local businesses and tourism. Nine New Mexico Senators, including Jeff Steinborn, and twenty-one House members asked the NRC to allow the Legislature for time to examine crucial health, safety and economic concerns to the state. If you want to add your voice, here’s what you can do to help: attend the meeting on July 19, 2018 at the Center of Recreational Excellence (CORE) on 4827 N. Lovington Hwy., Hobbs, NM at 9:00 A.M. You can also comment to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by July 30, 2018. As a state, Jeff Steinborn says we need to band together and demand that safety will come first in New Mexico.
Docket Number: NRC-2018-0052
You can comment at https://www.regulations.gov
Here are some sample letters if you wish to write but are unsure of where to start: www.NoNuclearWaste.org