Centralized Storage

With the scientifically unsound proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump now canceled, the danger of "interim" storage threatens. This means that radioactive waste could be "temporarily" parked in open air lots, vulnerable to accident and attack, while a new repository site is sought.



City Jal, NM passes resolution opposing Holtec/ELEA CISF!

The City of Jal, New Mexico, is located in the southeastern corner of the state. This is the same area which is targeted for Holtec International/Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance's proposed centralized interim storage facility for highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel. On May 29, the City of Jal passed a resolution opposing the scheme.


With no permanent repository for commercial nuclear waste, NM is in the spotlight


Debate breaks out over nuclear waste shipments

As reported by the Los Alamos Monitor.

Much of the article discusses the cancellation of the U.S. Department of Energy's white elephant MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (FFF) at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. MOX is short for uranium-plutonium Mixed Oxide. The article also discusses the Trump administration's hasty decision to try to make it up to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), for the "loss of MOX," by substituting in instead nuclear weapons plutonium pit production at SRS.

However, the issue of centralized interim storage of highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel, targeted at southeast New Mexico by Holtec International and the Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance, is also discussed.

Please note that the purpose of the MOX FFF was NOT to "recycle" nuclear reactor waste, as the article incorrectly reports. It was instead to re-purpose weapons-grade plutonium, excess to military needs, into commercial atomic reactor fuel, as part of an international agreement with Russia to do the same on its end.

However, reprocessing of highly radioactive commercial irradiated nuclear fuel, to separate out fissile plutonium for reuse in reactor fuel, IS an open secret plan at Holtec/ELEA's CIS facility.

The article also leaves an incorrect impression in this paragraph:

Graham replied that the lifecycle to store just the plutonium that he said had a half-life of 24,100 years is what the real cost people in favor of an interim nuclear waste storage program should be looking at. He also said that the cost to finish the building would be about $5.3 billion.

Weapons-grade plutonium excess to U.S. military needs is NOT what is targeted for "interim storage" at the Holtec/ELEA CIS facility. What is targeted there is commercial irradiated nuclear fuel, which is highly radioactive.

However, the Trump administration is now proposing "dilute and dispose" of the 34 tons of weapons-grade plutonium excess to the military's need. It is targeting the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeast New Mexico for this.

The WIPP site and the targeted Holtec/ELEA CIS facility site are but a dozen or so miles apart in southeast New Mexico -- this is an attempt to turn the largely Hispanic region, with significant poverty issues in certain communities, that is already heavily polluted by fossil fuel and nuclear industries, into an even worse radioactive waste sacrifice zone than it already is. This environmental injustice must be stopped!


Nuclear Waste Storage Proposal Faces Stiff Opposition 

As reported by KUNM's Melorie Begay, re: the NRC's public comment meeting in Albuquerque.

Leona Morgan of NISG (Nuclear Issues Study Group) is quoted in the coverage:

Leona Morgan said as an indigenous person, she sees the project as an example of environmental racism. It directly affects people of color and low-income people and it’s not fair, she said, that the state’s most vulnerable populations should be have to live with the waste facility. 

“Just because people want to get rid of the waste where it’s at, doesn’t mean it’s okay to bring the waste here and to put everyone in danger along the way,” she said...

Leona Morgan said she did not consent. “The railroad just also happens to pass by two of our sacred mountains so the transport impacts to cultural resources is one of my main concerns.”


Opponents dominate NRC Holtec/ELEA CISF scoping meetings in northern NM!

The growing resistance against Holtec International/Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance's proposed centralized interim storage facility (CISF) for 173,600 metric tons of highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel, targeted at southeastern New Mexico, showed its strength in Gallup and Albuquerque (ABQ), on May 21st and 22nd. In Gallup, opponents outnumbered supporters by a count of 36 to 1; in ABQ, it was 63 to 6. Thus far, after a half-dozen public comment meetings, opponents have outnumbered supporters, 233 to 53, a nearly five-to-one ratio! In addition, at the ABQ City Council meeting on May 21st, a Memorial was passed, expressing opposition to the shipment of highly radioactive waste through NM's largest city.  
Please continue to submit comments -- by email, webform, and/or snail mail -- and urge others to do so as well. See how to submit comments and use sample comments, to help you prepare your own, by the July 30 deadline. Please also contact both your U.S. Senators, and urge them to block H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018, or any other legislation, that would authorize similar CISFs . You can also urge your U.S. Sens. to support requests by a coalition of 52 environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, by requesting NRC public comment meetings in your state. Thus far, not a single public meeting has been held outside of NM, other than a very poorly noticed one at the NRC HQ in Rockville, MD (which was nonetheless attended by 70 opponents from across the U.S., almost entirely by phone-in/webinar, the only such opportunity thus far). You can look up your two U.S. Sens.' contact info. here, or phone their offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. For more info., see Beyond Nuclear's Centralized Storage website section