HOBBS – The head of a southeastern New Mexico coalition supporting plans to build a facility to temporary store spent nuclear fuel says supporters have around 18 months to go.
Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance Chairman John Heaton last week encouraged fellow board members to keep pushing for the proposed multimillion-dollar facility despite opposition from environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups, the Hobbs News-Sun reports.
“We’re at the final push. I think this is not the time to be weak of heart,” Heaton told the newspaper while attending the meeting from Washington, D.C. “We expect a draft (Environmental Impact Statement) to come out in March. Then, there will be hearings following that draft Environmental Impact Statement.”
Holtec International is seeking a 40-year license to build the complex near Carlsbad. Holtec executives say the project is needed as a permanent solution for dealing with the tons of spent fuel.
The Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance is a public entity formed through a joint powers agreement among Carlsbad and Hobbs and Eddy and Lea counties. The organization owns 1,000 acres of land on which Holtec hopes to build the $2.4 billion facility, pending a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.