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DOJ Wins Stop To $367M Merger Of Radioactive Waste Firms; NRC suspends licensing proceeding on WCS CISF

A Delaware federal judge on Wednesday blocked the $367 million merger of EnergySolutions Inc. and Waste Control Specialists LLC, siding with the U.S. Department of Justice in the government's bid to enjoin the deal on antitrust grounds. [This story was broken by Law360 Environmental. The remainder of the article is behind a pay wall.]

WCS had hoped EnergySolutions -- its competitor in "low-level" radioactive waste dumping -- could take it over, which would allow for the resumption of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing proceedings on WCS's proposal to construct and operate a centralized interim storage facility (CISF) for 40,000 metric tons of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel in Andrews County, TX. This court ruling appears to have dealt a severe blow to those plans.

By coincidence, the NRC Commissioners just affirmed their vote, at around 2pm Eastern on Thursday, June 22nd, to approve the combined request by WCS, NRC staff, and even opposing environmental groups (including Beyond Nuclear), to suspend the CISF licensing proceeding.

Here is a link to the NRC Commissioners' MEMORANDUM AND ORDER, which actually denies most of the environmental coalition's requests made on April 28, 2017, regarding procedures and deadlines to come, should this licensing proceeding resume.

If opened, the CISF at WCS, TX would have launched unprecedented numbers of shipments, mostly by rail (but also by barge and/or heavy haul truck, at certain nuclear power plants), of irradiated nuclear fuel through many states.

Located less than 40 miles from WCS across the TX/NM border, however, the ELEA, NM CISF (Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance) is still proceeding full steam ahead. ELEA, located very near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), if opened, could also launch unprecedented numbers of Mobile Chernobyls, Floating Fukushimas, and Dirty Bombs on Wheels.