Editorial: NRC is right to put science before politics - Albuquerque Journal

Editorial: NRC is right to put science before politics

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recommendation last week to issue a nuclear waste storage license in southeast New Mexico is a major regulatory milestone for those tired of kicking America’s radiation canister down the road, and bad news for those who have a knee-jerk opposition to nuclear power.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham emboldened Santa Fe-based opposition to the Holtec International facility last year, citing concerns about the environment and the impact that storing spent nuclear fuel could have on the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin.

In a July 2019 letter sent to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and chairwoman of the NRC, the Democratic governor said it would be “economic malpractice” to open such a site in an oil-rich region that’s also home to agricultural operations.

However, the NRC on March 10 released a draft environmental impact statement saying “oil and gas exploration could coexist with Holtec’s proposed project.” The document says Holtec’s impacts on land, industry and public health would be minimal.

Southeast New Mexico leaders say the Holtec project will be safe and good for the local economy, which currently is far too dependent on the boom and bust of oil. An alliance between the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs and Eddy and Lea counties purchased 1,000 acres of cattle grazing land on the western edge of Lea County for the project, 35 miles from the nearest population.

Southeast New Mexico is home to nuclear expertise with the WIPP storage facility and the $4 billion Urenco USA uranium enrichment plant. But leaders in Santa Fe continue to demonstrate that nuclear energy is not part of their energy portfolio, preferring instead to kick the radiation canister down the road.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.


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
Editorial: NM needs proof that $4.6M in ‘academic coaching’ ...
Editorials
It sounds like a great idea. ... It sounds like a great idea. A big team that can reach out to absentee or stuck-at-home students via ...
2
Editorial: Governor should not grab starring role
Editorials
Lights! Camera! Action! was the traditional ... Lights! Camera! Action! was the traditional cue to members of a film crew at the beginning of a R ...
3
Editorial: Time is now to fix NM pedestrian 'death ...
Editorials
The stretch of south Coors Boulevard ... The stretch of south Coors Boulevard where Brendan McClure was struck and killed by a Bernalillo Cou ...
4
Editorial: Keller best of field
Editorials
Albuquerque is in the midst of ... Albuquerque is in the midst of a surge of violent crime and it's of no solace whatsoever to th ...
5
Webber is the choice for mayor
Editorials
We support Webber's reelection, while hoping ... We support Webber's reelection, while hoping City Hall can move beyond its anti-transparency attitude to become more responsive
6
Editorial: A new stadium has appeal, but proposal needs ...
Editorials
It's not a bad idea. In ... It's not a bad idea. In fact, it's one with considerable appeal and worthy of considerat ...
7
Editorial: Journal picks for the ABQ City Council
Editorials
Today the Journal Editorial Board continues ... Today the Journal Editorial Board continues its endorsements in the Nov. 2 municipal election with i ...
8
Editorial: Journal picks for APS Board of Education
Editorials
This is an important election as ... This is an important election as the state's largest school district faces challenges in how best to educate our children
9
Editorial: Journal endorses school bond, mill levy
Editorials
Today the Journal editorial board continues ... Today the Journal editorial board continues its endorsements in the Nov. 2 consolidated municipal el ...