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.



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

(B.) Don't Waste Michigan comments (Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps serves as a board of directors member for DWM, representing his hometown Kalamazoo chapter). Terry Lodge, an attorney based in Toledo, OH, has long served as DWM's legal counsel. Lodge, and DWM board of directors Michael Keegan, prepared this set of comments.

(C.) Tim Judson and Diane D'Arrigo from NIRS have reported that their action alerts generated 5,293 comments submitted, from 3,630 unique individuals.

(D.) Leona Morgan from Nuclear Issue Study Group has reported that 5,123 hard copies of letters, comment cards, and petitions were collected by NISG and other NM volunteers, and submitted to NRC by the deadline. (This count does not include NISG verbal comments at the NRC meetings. The transcripts from NRC public comment meetings are viewable, posted on Beyond Nuclear's website, by clicking here. The ratio of opponents against the Holtec/ELEA CISF, to proponents in favor, was nearly 5 to 1, at the microphone during the half-dozen NRC public comment meetings. Five were held in NM; one was held at NRC HQ in Rockville, MD.)

(E.) Sierra Club comments. Iowa-based attorney Wally Taylor, of the Sierra Club Nuclear-Free Campaign, serves as legal counsel for the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, which represents Sierra Club members in the State of New Mexico, as well as West Texas. Additional comments were filed by John Buchser on behalf of the Rio Chapter Chapter of the Sierra Club on July 12th. Another Sierra Club leader in NM, Teresa Seamster, also submitted this set of comments.

(F.) Southwest Research and Information Center, Albuquerque, NM, comments, submitted by Don Hancock.

(G.) Public Citizen and SEED (Sustainable Energy and Economic Development) Coalition comments. Their comments attached 7 attachments:

(1.) BNSF State line to Vaughn - ACS;

(2.) Rail line Raton to Belen - ACS;

(3.) Southern Clovis to Carlsbad - EJ SCREEN;

(4.) UP Gallup to Clovis - ACS;

(5.) Albuquerque City Council Resolution.pdf;

(6.) Las Cruces City Council Resolution;

(7.) City of Jal Resolution 2018-22 (2).

Tom "Smitty" Smith serves as Director of Special Projects, and Adrian Shelley serves as Director of the Texas Office, of Public Citizen. Karen Hadden serves as Director of the SEED Coalition. Public Citizen's Texas Office, and SEED Coalition, are both based in Austin, TX. Public Citizen also circulated a webform that could be utilitized to efficiently submit comments to NRC, as did NIRS above. Public Citizen's email blast generated 10,561 comments.

(H.) Food & Water Watch generated nearly 4,000 comments.

(I.) NM Interfaith Power & Light reports that people of faith, mostly faith leaders, generated about 400 comments, including a letter from faith leaders.

(J.) Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety reports it generated nearly 200 comments.

Thus, taken together, the numbers of comments submitted by NISG, NIRS, Public Citizen, Food & Water Watch, and numerous other environmental, and environmental justice groups, top 25,000!

(K.) David A. Kraft, Director, Nuclear Energy Info. Service of Chicago, submitted these comments.


Holtec Nuclear Waste Cans-Kris Singh: Apparent Bribery-Kickback And Allegation Of Attempted Bribery


Las Cruces City Council approves resolution opposing nuclear storage facility


38 environmental groups call on NRC to extend comment period till Oct. 30, postpone license intervention deadline for proposed Holtec/ELEA CISF

An environmental coalition of 38 organizations has written the five U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission commissioners, as well as the safety and environmental NRC staff leads on the Holtec International/Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance centralized interim storage facility (CISF) license application proceeding, urging a 90-day extension to the environmental scoping public comment deadline. The current deadline is July 30; the coalition is requesting an extension till Oct. 30.

In addition, the coalition is requesting the legal intervention deadline in the licensing proceeding be postponed, and that proceeding suspended. Just this past Monday, July 16th, NRC published a Federal Register Notice, announcing September 14, 2018 as the deadline for requesting a hearing, and submitting legal contentions against the proposal. Legal intervenors must also establish legal standing in that short 60-day time frame.

The three main points in today's environmental coalition letter, justifying the requested 90-day extension for public environmental scoping comments, and suspension of the licensing proceeding, are:

1.) Redaction of 25% of the Holtec CISF Environmental Report Limits Public Commenting and Ongoing Preparations To Intervene In Licensing Proceeding;

2.) Serial Unavailability of and ADAMS (the NRC's Agency-wide Document Access and Management System), making the preparation and submission of public comments unacceptably difficult;

3.) The NRC Is Legally Obligated to Restore Fairness To the Scoping Stage of This Licensing Proceeding.

Regarding the second point, the largely to entirely out-of-order status of for most of the public comment period thus far, right up to the present: NRC in recent days has responded to a mid-June request, by Beyond Nuclear's legal counsel, Diane Curran of Washington, D.C., for an extension to the comment deadline, due to the dysfunction of the primary comment submission mechanism provided by NRC to the public.

NRC's response essentially blamed the victim, stating that the public should have worked with itself to make sure the system worked properly. Concerned citizens, and environmental group representatives, have been notifying NRC since at least May 1st that its site for public comment was not working properly, or at all. NRC's letter rejects the environmental coalition's mid-June request for an extension of the scoping deadline.

"The signers of today's letter suggest that there are 'extremely compelling circumsances' present here that obligate the NRC to extend the public comment scoping period, and further compel the delay of commencement of the intervention petition filing period until after interested parties have obtained relief under the Freedom of Information Act," said Terry Lodge, Toledo-based legal counsel for Don't Waste Michigan. "Fundamental concerns of fairness, coupled with the National Environmental Policy Act's expectation of maximal public participation, and the high significance of the Holtec/ELEA CISF itself, as a policy determination, all militate in favor of altering the present deadlines," Lodge added.

"Not only do we have to do NRC's job for it, in terms of protecting public safety, security, health, and the environment, but now we also have to do the agency's job for it by making sure its computer systems work," said Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear. "It makes me wonder why NRC needs to have thousands of employees, and a budget of many hundreds of millions of dollars per year, when the concerned public is constantly forced to do NRC's job for it, because the agency can't be bothered," Kamps said.

"The public demands NRC return the funds provided by ratepayers and taxpayers to the agency, due to its regulatory incompetence -- and worse, complicity and collusion with the hazardous industry it is supposed to regulate," Kamps added.

The Holtec/ELEA CISF is an environmentally unjust proposal, for up to 173,600 metric tons of highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel to be "temporarily stored" in southeastern New Mexico. The Texas/New Mexico borderlands are home to large Hispanic populations; they are already badly polluted by intensive fossil fuel and nuclear industires. If opened, this de facto permanent, surface storage, "parking lot dump" would significantly worsen New Mexico's treatment as a "nuclear sacrifize zone," but would also launch unprecedented thousands of high-risk, highly radioactive waste shipments, by truck, train, and/or barge, on roads, rails, and/or waterways, through most states, many major cities, and the vast majority of U.S. congressional districts, over the course of a half-century. If the highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel ever did leave someday, after 40, 100, 120, or 300 years of "interim storage" (all figures Holtec/ELEA has cited at various times), then the departing shipments would double transport risks, sometimes in the very same communities through which they passed in order to reach New Mexico in the first place.


Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee of the New Mexico State Legislature holds hearing in Hobbs re: Holtec/ELEA CISF

See the agenda for the state legislative committee hearing re: the Holtec International/Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance centralized interim storage facility (CISF), targeted at a site just over 30 miles west of Hobbs, here.

As reported in a Public Citizen commentary, representatives from the SEED Coalition (Karen Hadden), and Alliance for Environmental Strategies (Rose Gardner), spoke out at the state legislative hearing during the public comment opportunity.

So too did Leona Morgan of NISG (Nuclear Issues Study Group).

All are leading opponents to Holtec/ELEA's proposed CISF.