Texas Steps Up Fight Against Nuclear Waste Dump in State
(Bloomberg) -- Texas asked a federal appeals court to review and block a nuclear waste disposal site in the state, claiming the Nuclear Regulatory Commission earlier this month issued an unlawful license to a company hoping to build the facility.
Texas and Governor Greg Abbott asked the court to examine and cancel the license issued by the NRC to Orano CIS LLC and its joint venture partner, J.F. Lehman & Co.’s Waste Control Specialists LLC, to set up a repository in the heart of Texas’s Permian Basin oil fields for almost 40,000 metric tons of radioactive waste.
The joint venture, known as Interim Storage Partners LLC, plans to ship waste by rail from across the country. The waste would be sealed in concrete casks and stored above ground at a site about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Andrews, Texas, near the New Mexico border.
A nuclear waste storage site in the western U.S. has been a focus of controversy for decades, often affected by political decision. Former President Donald Trump scrapped a planned waste repository in Nevada in February 2020, ahead of the election, telling the state residents that he heard their concerns. President Joe Biden won Nevada in the election.
The Andrews County Commissioners’ Court, which functions as the county’s board of commissioners, had previously supported the West Texas project to help diversify the area’s fortunes that fluctuate due to ups and downs in oil cycles. But it voted unanimously to oppose the project following concern from the local community over the waste potentially staying radioactive for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, has vehemently opposed the plan.
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