Spent nuclear fuel storage plan draws questions - Albuquerque Journal

Spent nuclear fuel storage plan draws questions

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

1057859
Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces

State Sen. Jeff Steinborn has a battery of questions about a proposed interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in southeast New Mexico.

“I think the most pressing are some of the most basic questions about our state’s ability to handle this proposal,” said Steinborn, chair of the legislative Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee.

Last week, the Las Cruces Democrat sent questions to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the state attorney general, the state Environment Department and other state agencies, inquiring about everything from what routes are being considered for transportation to how oil and gas operations might be affected to questions of liability.

Holtec International is seeking to build a facility to temporarily store the nation’s spent nuclear fuel – currently stored in casks at nuclear power plants around the country – until a permanent repository is built.

Steinborn said some of the most important questions he wants answered are about possible transport routes, so communities that would be affected by the transport of the material can be identified, and the state’s emergency preparedness in case of an accident during transport.

Due to its weight, the waste would likely be transported by rail.

Steinborn said he hasn’t yet taken a stance on the proposed project and said the committee and the public deserve answers to form opinions about the viability of the project.

“I’m in fact-finding mode,” he said. “This is definitely a very serious undertaking that warrants a very serious conversation.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s 60-day public comment period on Holtec’s site licensing application is open until May 29, and Steinborn encouraged New Mexicans to participate.

Don Hancock, director of the Southwest Research and Information Center’s Nuclear Waste Safety program, said the public comments received are intended to inform the NRC as it creates an environmental impact statement on the project as part of the application review process.

“Anybody in the country can comment who thinks that what Holtec wants to do could affect them,” Hancock said.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
CYFD probes child's death, reviews procedures
ABQnews Seeker
Aunt says she reported abuse of ... Aunt says she reported abuse of tot, siblings; dad, grandmother charged
2
CYFD to open bids for tech upgrade
ABQnews Seeker
Change follows departure of former Cabinet ... Change follows departure of former Cabinet secretary, who pushed for single vendor
3
Competency hearing set in school shooting
ABQnews Seeker
13-year-old will be tried as a ... 13-year-old will be tried as a juvenile if he is deemed fit
4
Advisory panel endorses redistricting maps for New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
Lawmakers plan to convene in December ... Lawmakers plan to convene in December to redraw a range of boundaries
5
Suspect held in monthlong string of robberies
ABQnews Seeker
Bandit apologized to victims in over ... Bandit apologized to victims in over a dozen alleged heists
6
Pecos River set for major water shortages
ABQnews Seeker
Agencies propose repairing infrastructure, removing invasive ... Agencies propose repairing infrastructure, removing invasive plant species
7
Health officials prepare for rollout of COVID vaccine for ...
ABQnews Seeker
State has pre-ordered 66,000 doses over ... State has pre-ordered 66,000 doses over three waves
8
New Mexico credit union ceases overdraft fees
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico's oldest credit union will ... New Mexico's oldest credit union will no longer charge overdraft fees to members.
9
Visit Albuquerque leader: Business travel recovery could take years
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque saw its fair share of ... Albuquerque saw its fair share of leisure travelers over the summer, but business travel to the city ...