By DAVID MCCOY
The HOLTEC site that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow for “interim storage” of 10,000 tons of nuclear reactor waste is a location for disaster.
According to the N.M. Environment Department, the location was not chosen for environmental safety but rather because it was “privately owned, near highways and other federal land.” Further, the NRC environmental statement ignores the geology and hydrology of the site that is riddled with playas, sinkholes, fractured bedrock, subject to subsidence and hydrologic transport of radioactive waste to groundwater.
The cost/benefit analysis of the NRC does not adequately consider the adverse impact on the value of the region’s water resource, gas, minerals, agriculture and wildlife from radioactive waste forever seeping into the environment.
New Mexico already experienced the testing of a nuclear weapon. There is irresponsible treatment of its citizens to suffer the exposure of nuclear fallout, laboratory radioactive waste, piles of uranium tailings, dam failure and the ensuing cancer and diseases often without warning, compensation and medical treatment.
The concerns of New Mexico’s governor, Legislature, agencies, tribes and public are most often blithely dismissed by the NRC as “beyond the scope” of its environmental statement.
NRC is not doing the New Mexico public a favor with its faux safety analysis. NRC’s failed record for protection of the public is not inspiring.
NRC allowed a Diablo Canyon reactor to operate after it was built backwards on an eroding sea cliff in an area of tsunamis. NRC allowed the spent nuclear fuel at San Onofre, Calif., to be placed next to the ocean in an area for tsunamis and rising ocean levels. NRC allowed the Trojan Nuclear Reactor in Oregon to expand spent fuel storage on the Columbia River knowing of geologic evidence that an earthquake could be twice the strength the reactor could withstand. NRC fails to consider hydrogen explosions for U.S. reactors such as occurred at Fukushima.
The nation’s reactor waste was not generated in New Mexico and should remain in place where produced until there is a suitable permanent geologic repository without a second removal that may never occur.