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.



State could block nuclear storage site near Carlsbad even if federally licensed


New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association resolution in opposition to Holtec/ELEA CISF

Text of resolution passed several weeks ago by the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association in opposition to Holtec International/Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance's (ELEA) centralized interim storage facility (CISF) targeted at southeastern New Mexico:

New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association

Hi-Store Consolidated Interim Storage Facility Project Resolution

Whereas:              In southeastern New Mexico Holtec International has proposed a consolidated interim storage facility, known as Hi-Store, for nuclear waste to be built and operated; and

Whereas:              New Mexico Cattle Growers (NMCGA) is greatly concerned that the input of local ranchers and land lessees has not been sought or considered during Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, LLC’s (ELEA) and Holtec’s process; and

Whereas:                  NMCGA wants verifiable assurances that every effort is being made to inform those directly involved by the Holtec International HI-STORE CIS project including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and State land lessees and the surrounding communities and their input should be considered.

Now Therefore Be It Resolved:       New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association opposes Holtec International's        Hi-Store consolidated interim storage facility project proposed in Eddy and Lea Counties, NM; and

Furthermore be it Resolved:           New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association supports the residents, communities, and state government officials in their opposition to construction and operation of the Hi-Store consolidated interim storage facility in New Mexico.


Action Plan

Distribute resolution to the following:

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich

New Mexico Representatives Ben Ray Lujan, Steve Pearce and Michelle Lujan Grisham

The New Mexico State Legislature

Holtec International                      

Eddy –Lea Energy Alliance, LLC

New Mexico Media Outlets


NRC officially rejects environmental coalition's call for extension of public comment period, postponement of legal intervention deadline, re: Holtec/ELEA CISF

By a letter dated July 30th, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officially rejected a 38-group environmental coalition's call for an extension of the environmental scoping public comment deadline, as well as a postponement of the legal intervention deadline, re: Holtec International/Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance's proposal to construct and operate a centralized interim storage facility for 173,600 metric tons of highly radioactive waste in southeastern New Mexico.

Thus, the July 30th deadline for environmental scoping public comment has now passed (but opponents to Holtec/ELEA's proposal nonetheless met that deadline in a big way, with over 25,000 public comments in opposition to the CISF!)

And groups planning to legally intervene in the NRC's Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board (ASLB) proceeding on the application, face an arbitrarily and capriciously short 60-day deadline, that expires on Sept. 14, to establish legal standing, and to submit quality contentions that the ASLB would allow for hearings on the merits. Beyond Nuclear, as well as a broad coalition of other environmental groups, plan to do just that! Beyond Nuclear's legal counsel are Diane Curran of Washington, D.C., and Mindy Goldstein of Emory University's Turner Environmental Law Clinic in Atlanta, GA.


A ‘poorly conceived push’ for nuclear waste storage

As published by the Santa Fe New Mexican, a letter to the editor by Sasha Pyle:

Former N.M. representative and chairman of the Carlsbad mayor’s nuclear task force, John Heaton said the Holtec International facility’s opponents (“Nuke waste project planning enters next phase,” Aug. 1) are “emotional” and “non-factual.” This poorly conceived push to bring the nation’s spent fuel rods to an “interim” facility, hoping some corporate or governmental agency will return in a century to remove them to a theoretical permanent repository, is where facts are ignored.

I challenge Heaton to talk with me about the region’s hydrology/geology; escape pathways; health effects of exposure; inadequate cask design; the fanciful transportation plan; the history of corporate and government victimization of populations of color; and the legal requirements that Holtec fails to meet.

I have studied nuclear issues for three decades. No hysteria is needed to detect the myriad flaws in this scheme. It’s all about profits — and pretending there’s a solution to America’s waste backlog. No technically viable disposal plan exists. Holtec does nothing to solve that. A dispassionate robot could reach the same conclusion.

Sasha Pyle

Santa Fe


Broad coalition opposed to Holtec/ELEA CISF in NM meets NRC environmental scoping public comment deadline

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has refused to extend its deadline -- despite multiple strong requests from scores of organizations -- so comments were due at 11:59pm Pacific Time/2:59am Eastern Time last night/this morning (July 30, 2018). See the three requests, by environmental coalitions, attached to Beyond Nuclear's response to Holtec CEO & President Dr. Krishna Singh's comments, at the very bottom of this posting.

Despite this NRC hardball, opponents to Holtec International/Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance's proposed centralized interim storage facility, for 173,600 metric tons of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel, targeted at southeastern New Mexico, met that deadline in a powerful way. Here are links to the oppositional comments filed:

(A.) Beyond Nuclear's latest comments, focused on the Holtec/ELEA CISF's violation of environmental justice. Our comments included 13 attached supporting documents:

(1.) The New Mexico map created by Deborah Reade, “Water, Air and Land: A Sacred Trust,” Version 3, July 2018.

NIRS, IEER, and Beyond Nuclear documents regarding the disproportionate harm done to women, and children, as compared to adult males, by hazardous ionizing radioactivity:

(2.) Radiation and Children: The Ignored Victims, NIRS, August 2004.


(4.) The Use of Reference Man in Radiation Protection Standards and Guidance with Recommendations for Change, IEER, Rev. 1, April 2009.

(5.) Science for the Vulnerable Setting Radiation and Multiple Exposure Environmental Health Standards to Protect Those Most at Risk, IEER, October 19, 2006.

(6.) Open Letter to President Bush on Protecting the Most Vulnerable, IEER, Oct. 19, 2006.

(7.) Nuclear Power and Children, Beyond Nuclear, March 2014.

Documentation of radioactively racist attempts to dump high-level radioactive wastes on Native American reservations, and traditional environmental protectors’ successful resistance campaigns, including President Obama’s proclamation honoring Grace Thorpe’s anti-CISF Mother Earth protection:

(8.) Women’s History Month, 2009, by the President of the United States, a Proclamation (re: Grace Thorpe, Rachel Carson, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, et al.)

(9.) Radioactive Racism: The History of Targeting Native American Communities with High-Level Atomic Waste Dumps, NIRS and Public Citizen, June 14, 2005.

(10.) Re: Private Fuel Storage, LLC application for commercial irradiated nuclear fuel "interim" storage site at the Skull Valley Goshutes Indian Reservation in Utah, environmental and environmental justice coalition (437 organizations) letter to NRC Commission, July 7, 2005.

(11.) Skull Valley Goshutes/PFS Timeline, Public Citizen and NIRS, June 14, 2005.



(13.) U.S. Department of Energy, Legacy Management, Nevada Offsites, Gnome-Coach, New Mexico, Site, 11/2017.

Beyond Nuclear also submitted more than a dozen sets of previous comments since this environmental scoping period began on March 30. They covered such subject matter areas as: Mobile Chernobyl shipping risks; the risk of so-called centralized "interim" storage facilities becoming de facto permanent surface storage “parking lot dumps”; risks of loss of institutional control if de facto permanent surface storage “parking lot dumps” are abandoned, containers fail, and release catastrophic amounts of hazardous radioactivity into the environment; risks of “routine” or “incident-free” shipments nonetheless being like “Mobile X-ray Machines That Can’t Be Turned Off,” and risks of externally contaminated shipments; why are all these high risks being taken in the first place?!; "We Do NOT Consent!", 15-page version, and 2-page summary; "When It Comes to Highly Radioactive Waste Transportation Risks, We All Live in New Mexico!"; and Beyond Nuclear's verbal comments on a variety of subject matter, submitted at the NRC public meetings in southeastern NM in late April/early May 2018. See them all, in their entirety, at this link. (Note that other groups' sample comments are also posted there.)

Beyond Nuclear also re-submitted whistle-blower allegations, by Oscar Shirani of Commonwealth Edison/Exelon Nuclear, and Dr. Ross Landsman of NRC Region 3, re: rampant Holtec container quality assurance violations. Shirani and Landsman first brought the QA violations to light in the year 2000. NIRS, Public Citizen, Beyond Nuclear, and others across the country, have worked with the whistle-blowers since 2003, in an effort to have the problems addressed. Neither Holtec nor NRC has rectified the violations, in the past two decades. (Sadly, Shirani passed on a decade ago.)

Beyond Nuclear also responded to a comment filed by Holtec's President & CEO, Dr. Krishna P. Singh.

Attached to Beyond Nuclear's response were the three environmental coalition letters to NRC, requesting comment deadline extensions, as well as public comment meetings to be held outside of NM. The letters were dated May 9, 2018; June 13, 2018; and July 19, 2018.

[See additional comments submitted to NRC by a large number of organizations in the environmental coalition, as well as individuals, linked here. And see below.]