The Permian Basin Coalition released a statement Thursday saying that Rep. Brooks Landgraf’s bill to ban the storage of high-level nuclear waste in Texas “does not go far enough” in seeking to keep nuclear waste out of the state.
Landgraf’s bill would ban the storage and disposal of high-level nuclear waste away from civilian nuclear power plants or university research reactors in Texas. A proposal from Waste Control Specialists to expand their existing nuclear waste site in Andrews County to store high-level waste would be impacted by the bill.
The lawsuit notes that Nuclear Watch New Mexico previously filed a lawsuit against the DOE over its non-compliance with the 2016 Consent Order.
Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said in a statement that “What New Mexicans really deserve (is) to have needed cleanup drive funding instead of the budget that DOE wants driving cleanup. We strongly salute the Environment Department for taking legal action against DOE’s scheme of expanding dirty nuclear weapons production over cleanup.”
SANTA FE – The state Environment Department has lost patience with the U.S. Department of Energy over what it says is a “continuing pattern of delay and noncompliance” with the cleanup of hazardous legacy waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory, posing a health risk to people in surrounding communities.
After a dispute resolution process broke down, the New Mexico Environment Department late Wednesday filed a civil lawsuit against the DOE in 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe. It claims that DOE has failed to meet objectives identified in compliance orders in 2005 and 2016 and has dragged its feet in cleaning up contamination left behind from decades of bomb-making and nuclear research.
It asks that a court-supervised process be conducted to resolve the issues.
“We’re a state agency, and our patience is long,” Environment Secretary James Kenney said in a phone interview. “But our patience runs out quickly when there’s an inability to meet promises.”
DOE maintains that significant progress has been made since 2016, including addressing hexavalent chromium contamination in groundwater and the cleanup at several sites with elevated levels of soil contamination. It maintains that it completed all 16 compliance order milestones for fiscal year 2020.
To get rid of eight gallons of water, the U.S. Department of Energy spent $100,000.
It’s little more than half a tank of gasoline in a midsize car, but the radioactive shipment from South Carolina to a West Texas company last fall marked one change that could lead to more nuclear waste traveling to Texas — waste that, until recently, was considered too dangerous to be disposed of.
Much of the public debate surrounding Waste Control Specialists’ hazardous waste facility in Andrews County, on the New Mexico border, has focused on the company’s plans, with a partner, to store the riskiest type of nuclear waste: the spent fuel rods from nuclear power plants, which can remain dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.
Thank you for publishing the Bloomberg News story “Iran: US must move first on nuclear deal” in Monday’s Extra Extra eEdition section. While it was critically important that President Joe Biden moved to extend by five years the nuclear treaty with Russia, it is equally important that he move quickly during this very narrow window of opportunity to work with the existing relatively moderate Iranian government before radical Iranians take over this summer. Unfortunately, Biden’s hard-line statements in his CBS interview before the Super Bowl made him sound more like Donald Trump than the president he could be. Trump initiated economic sanctions against the people of Iran that included bans on urgently needed medical supplies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Iran and Europe have acted in good faith in this years-long process, but the U.S. has not.
A RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION PREPARE AND COMPLETE A NEW SITE-WIDE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY BEFORE EXPANDING PLUTONIUM PIT PRODUCTION AT THE FACILITY.
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of Jim Murphy (Amarillo, Texas), who passed away on February 8, 2021, at the age of 79. Jim had been a cherished and valued member of The Peace Farm and the Peace Farm Board for many years, and he will be greatly missed.
A plan to dispose of surplus plutonium at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant through a dilution process that would reduce the waste to radiation levels allowable at the facility moved forward at the end of 2020 and the process was expected to continue through 2022.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) – an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy – announced in December its intention to draft an environmental impact statement on the project and a public comment scoping was extended until Feb. 18 (see below).
Comments on the project can be made to the NNSA via email to SPDP-EIS@NNSA.DOE.GOV with the subject line SPDP EIS Scoping Comment.
Under the agency’s preferred method, pit plutonium would be shipped from Pantex to Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to be prepared for dilution, then to Savannah River Site in South Carolina where it will be diluted before final shipment back to New Mexico to WIPP in southeast New Mexico.
DELIVERING THE NUCLEAR BAN TREATY TO NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO MARK THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: LOCAL RESIDENTS CELEBRATE TREATY’S ENTRY INTO FORCE
January 22, 2021, will be a historic day for nuclear weapons. On that day the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will enter into force, establishing in international law a categorical ban on nuclear weapons, seventy-five years after their development and first use.
The momentous occasion will be marked by actions, events, and celebrations around the globe and across the United States.
In Dallas, representatives of The Peace Farm, Dallas Pax Christi, and the Dallas Peace and Justice will mark the historic day by delivering copies of the treaty in person to 6 Texas State Congressional offices.
“Right now, the Treaty does not legally apply to the United States,” said Lon Burnam, “because we have not signed or ratified it. But that does not mean we will not be feeling the moral force of the Treaty. All nuclear weapons, including the 3,900 in the US stockpile, have been declared unlawful by the international community.”
The effort to deliver copies of the Treaty to congressional offices in Dallas is just one of many events happening around the country. At nuclear weapons production sites in Tennessee, Kansas City, New Mexico and California, banners declaring NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE ILLEGAL will be hung on fences at the plant entrance.
Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear (left) and Lon Burnam, Peace Farm board member (right), protesting the dangerous nuclear waste dump planned for Andrews, Texas, as well as one planned for New Mexico.
Dumping nuclear waste on the Southwest region would be massive environmental injustice.
Millions of people who live near ports and railroad tracks across the country would also be put at risk from leaks, accidents, or sabotage from irradiated fuels rods. Exposure to radiation leads to cancers, birth defects, and death. Help protect your neighbors and communities nationwide. Prevent radioactive contamination by telling the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to halt the high-level radioactive waste storage licensing applications immediately.