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Friday
Jun082018

WCS has requested that NRC restart its licensing proceeding for a CISF in Andrews County, TX

Logo for Interim Storage Partners, a new name for Waste Control Speclaists, LLC's proposed CISF in western TexasBad news update: Waste Control Specialists, LLC in Andrews County, western Texas -- just 40 miles from the Holtec site in southeastern New Mexico -- has requested NRC restart its license application proceeding for a CISF (Centralized Interim Storage Facility), suspended a year ago due to the company's bankruptcy!

See the June 8, 2018 letter sent to NRC by the latest incarnation of the WCS CISF nuclear industry consortium, requesting a restart of the licensing proceeding.

WCS proposes to "temporarily" store 40,000 metric tons of highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel, as well as highly radioactive so-called "Greater-Than-Class-C low-level radioactive waste" (GTCC LLRW) on the state line of New Mexico in extreme western Texas, just four miles from the Hispanic community of Eunice, New Mexico.

The WCS CISF has adopted a new name and logo -- Interim Storage Partners. See left. Note that the logo could indicate an interest to engage in so-called "recycling" of the highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel -- that is, reprocessing.

The Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA), the partner with Holtec International in a second CISF scheme located just 40 miles away from WCS across the TX/NM state line, also uses a logo -- a recycling symbol surrounding an atom -- that clearly indicates its desire to reprocess the 173,600 metric tons of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel it has proposed "temporarily storing" there.

Reprocessing is a very bad idea, as has been shown in France. But then again, a major partner of WCS's CISF, and now Interim Storage Partners, is Areva of France, which has recently changed its name to Orano. Before it was called Areva, it was called Cogema. Areva/Orano engages in large-scale irradiated nuclear fuel reprocessing in France.

Reprocessing risks nuclear weapons proliferation. It also causes very large-scale releases of hazardous radioactivity into air and water, even during so-called "routine operations" (let alone a catastrophic accident, as occurred in Khystym in the Ural Mountains of Russian Siberia in 1957). And reprocessing is astronomically expensive -- and the public will be asked to pay for it all. See Beyond Nuclear's pamphlet for more info.

The new owner announced several weeks ago it intended to request a restart of the proceeding, and has now done so.