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.



Beyond Nuclear Joins with Environmental Coalition to Oppose WCS/ISP High-Level Radioactive Waste De Facto Permanent Surface Storage in West Texas; Press Conference (Tues., July 9) & NRC ASLB Hearings (July 10-11), Midland, TX


For immediate release: July 6, 2019

Contact: Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, Radioactive Waste Specialist,, (240) 462-3216

Beyond Nuclear Joins with Environmental Coalition to Oppose WCS/ISP High-Level Radioactive Waste De Facto Permanent Surface Storage in West Texas

Press Conference (Tues., July 9)

& NRC ASLB Hearings (July 10-11),
Midland, TX



Beyond Nuclear has joined with a broad environmental coalition (including Sierra Club, the oldest and largest environmental organization in the country) in opposition to the Waste Control Specialists/Interim Storage Partners' (WCS/ISP) proposal to construct and operate a so-called "consolidated interim storage facility" (CISF) for 40,000 metric tons of commercial, highly radioactive, irradiated nuclear fuel, originating at atomic reactors. Around 90% of atomic reactors, and their on-site high-level radioactive wastes, are located in the eastern half of the United States, around 75% east of the Mississippi River. That amount of commercial high-level radioactive waste is nearly half what currently exists in the country, and more than half the disposal limit at the long-cancelled Yucca Mountain, Nevada permanent repository targeted at Western Shoshone Indian land in Nevada.

A press conference will be held the day before the oral argument pre-hearings begin. The press conference will be held on Tuesday, July 9th at 2pm Central Time, at 301 S. Main, Midland, TX, in the parking lot by the Ruttle Building. An inflatable, full-size replica of a Legal Weight Truck shipping cask for high-level radioactive waste will be on display, as a photo opportunity as well as educational awareness raiser.

Speakers at the press conference will include Diane Curran, legal counsel for Beyond Nuclear; Terry Lodge, legal counsel for Don't Waste Michigan et al. (a seven-group environmental coalition, also including Citizens' Environmental Coalition of New York, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination of Michigan, Nuclear Energy Information Service of Illinois, Public Citizen of D.C. and TX, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace of California, and the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition of Texas); Elizabeth Padilla, an Andrews County, TX citizen, and member of the SEED Coalition; and a Midland County Commissioner (Midland County has passed a resolution opposing the WCS/ISP CISF).

Beyond Nuclear's legal objection to the WCS/ISP license application focuses on its inherent violation of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as Amended (NWPA), as well as the Administrative Procedure Act. This is due to WCS/ISP's reliance on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) taking ownership of (title to) commercial irradiated nuclear fuel at the CISF, which is prohibited by the NWPA. (The NWPA only allows DOE to take title to commercial irradiated nuclear fuel at a permanent repository.) See Beyond Nuclear's Hearing Request and Petition to Intervene, dated October 3, 2018, posted here.

Alarmingly, in late March 2019 congressional testimony, U.S. Energy Secretary (and former TX governor) Rick Perry expressed his agreement with supposedly interim storage becoming instead permanent surface disposal in West Texas. This would risk catastrophic releases of hazardous radioactivity into the environment over time.

Don't Waste Michigan et al., and Sierra Club's, contentions number in the dozens, addressing such risks as transportation of the radioactive waste through most states, hydrological and geological flaws with the CISF site itself, such as its proximity to the Ogallala Aquifer, vital to eight High Plains states, etc. See the Don't Waste Michigan et al. and Sierra Club's November 13, 2018 filings posted here (including links to expert witness declarations, a summary of Don't Waste Michigan et al.'s contentions, etc.).

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) oral argument pre-hearings will then begin on Wednesday, July 10th at 9 AM Central Time. They will take place at the Midland County Courthouse, located at 500 N. Lorraine Street, Midland, Texas 79701. As needed, the ASLB oral argument pre-hearings will continue at the same location on Thursday, July 11th. See the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's ASLB's Order, here.

As indicated in a coalition flier, opponents to the dump -- wearing red (as in, STOP!) -- will arrive outside the Midland County Courthouse, both Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 8am Central Time, to strongly proclaim "WE DON'T WANT IT!" in response to the WCS/ISP proposal to "park" 40,000 metric tons of highly radioactive waste, for decades, centuries, or de facto permanently at the surface of the land in West Texas.


Beyond Nuclear is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization. Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abolish both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic. The Beyond Nuclear team works with diverse partners and allies to provide the public, government officials, and the media with the critical information necessary to move humanity toward a world beyond nuclear. Beyond Nuclear: 7304 Carroll Avenue, #182, Takoma Park, MD 20912.


Radioactive Waste Storage Crisis SPECIAL: NUCLEAR NIMBY Targets New Mexico, West Texas: Kevin Kamps, Diane D’Arrigo, Leona Morgan, Karen Hadden – Nuclear Hotseat #419

This Week’s Featured Interviews:

Radioactive waste generated by U.S. nuclear reactors stands at over 80,000 TONS of the stuff – with nowhere safe to store it long-term. The nuclear industry is pushing hard for an ill-advised so-called “interim” storage site in either New Mexico or West Texas – or both. Recent hearings held by the House and Senate barely allowed the public to be heard, and more hearings are on their way. But what does it all mean to the people most immediately affected?

Nuclear Hotseat’s Libbe HaLevy talks with four genuine experts on various aspects of the radioactive waste problem:


House Passes Appropriations Bill with $25 Million for Interim Nuclear Waste Program


Meet the Congressman Defending Questionable Tax Breaks for a Company Connected to His Rich Brother

After multiple issues have surfaced with Holtec International’s New Jersey tax break application, Rep. Donald Norcross, its biggest congressional supporter (and the brother of a Holtec board member) is playing defense.

As reported by ProPublica and WNYC.


Press conference, NRC ASLB oral argument pre-hearings, re: WCS/ISP CISF, July 9-11, Midland TX

Action alert from Karen Hadden, Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition [comments within brackets are additions by Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear]:

High-Level Radioactive Waste Hearing – Atomic Safety and Licensing Board [ASLB]

Press conference the day before the hearing -  July 9th at 2 PM, 301 S. Main, Midland, TX  Parking lot by the Ruttle Building. [Inflatable, full-size replica of Legal Weight Truck shipping cask for high-level radioactive waste, will be deployed as a photo op and awareness-raiser/educational opportunity.]

WCS’ [Waste Control Specialists', also known as Interim Storage Partners' (ISP's)] Application to store 40,000 metric tons of the nation’s deadly spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors, 40 years or more. WCS/ISP's scheme is referred to as a consolidated interim storage facility. In truth, it is a de facto permanent surface storage "parking lot" dump.]


Wednesday, July 10th at 9 AM 

Midland County Courthouse 

500 N. Lorraine Street, Midland, Texas 79701 

[As needed, the ASLB oral argument pre-hearings will continue at the same location on Thursday, July 11th. See the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's ASLB's Order, here.]


We need to turn out as many people as we possibly can! A flyer you can print and distribute is [linked here]. 

PLEASE ARRIVE at 8 AM and wear red if you can [as in STOP WCS!].  


Hotels are expensive in Midland, so please make arrangements as soon as possible and share a room if possible. One option is to ask the DoubleTree for the rate for the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board hearing, which is $149, much less expensive than normal rates. Call 432-683-6131 and ask for Courtney if you're interested. This hotel is within walking distance of the Courthouse.

Dallas/ Ft. Worth Folks - please be in touch with Lon Burnam;
Susybelle Gosslee is putting together a group to go to the hearing...
[To be put in touch with Karen, Lon, and/or Susybelle, contact Kevin Kamps at Beyond Nuclear,, 240-462-3216]
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