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Nuclear Waste

Alliance of Texas environmental, oil interests block bill that would have given nuclear waste company a financial break

ERIN DOUGLAS, TEXAS TRIBUNE MAY 11, 2021

The entrance to the Waste Control Specialists site, where radioactive and hazardous waste is disposed of and stored in Andrews County. Credit: Eli Hartman for The Texas Tribune

A bill opposed by both environmental and some oil interests that would have given a nuclear waste company in West Texas a big break on state fees failed to receive a vote in the Texas House before a key deadline on Monday.

Waste Control Specialists has been disposing of the nation’s low-level nuclear waste, including tools, building materials and protective clothing exposed to radioactivity, for a decade in Andrews County. The company is currently pursuing, with a partner, a federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission license to store spent nuclear fuel on a site adjacent to its existing facility, a plan that both environmentalists and some oil companies that operate in the region have long opposed.

House Bill 2692, which also would have banned the most dangerous type of radioactive waste from entering Texas for disposal under state law, was blocked from advancing by a point of order brought by state Reps. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, and Harold Dutton, D-Houston.

It was sent back to committee and has failed to be voted out a second time before Monday, the last day House committees could report measures and have a chance of passing.

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Critical Events

Support the City of Santa Fe in Leaving the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities

The FULL Santa Fe City Council will meet next Wednesday, May 26 to vote on whether or not to remain in the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities. Contact the Santa Fe councilors in support of local governments LEAVING the RCLC.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO AREADY WROTE IN!

NUCLEAR POWER – TEXAS

Geothermal energy can keep the lights on in Texas

Dallas Morning News / April 7, 2021

With weather-related failures in natural gas, nuclear, coal, wind and solar generation as temperatures reached record lows, the state’s power generating capacity dropped by almost 70%, creating a catastrophic energy shortage. This is where geothermal energy could have saved the day.

EGEB: Texas wind power smashes records in March

Michelle Lewis / Apr. 7th 2021

EGEB: Texas wind power smashes records in March: In March, Texas grid operator ERCOT’s wind power generation smashed its previous record. Wind topped 10.4 million megawatt-hours (MWh) during the month, which is 2 million MWh above its previous high set in December 2020, according to data from the Energy Information Administration’s hourly electric grid monitor.

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NUCLEAR WASTE – HOLTEC

New Mexico sues US over proposed nuclear waste storage plans

AP News / By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN March 29, 2021

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico sued the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Monday over concerns that the federal agency hasn’t done enough to vet plans for a multibillion-dollar facility to store spent nuclear fuel in the state, arguing that the project would endanger residents, the environment and the economy.

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NUCLEAR WASTE – TEXAS/NEW MEXICO

Landgraf nuclear waste bill doesn’t ‘go far enough,’ says PBC

State Representative Brooks Landgraf has filed a bill, prohibiting the storage and disposal of high-level waste in Texas.

Midland Reporter-Telegram, March 5, 2021

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.

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A Big Win for Comprehensive Cleanup in New Mexico: State sues DOE over LANL cleanup

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.”

By: T.S. LAST / JOURNAL NORTH / February 25th, 2021 at 11:45pm Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal abqjournal.com

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.

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West Texas is on track to get even more nuclear waste — thanks to the federal government

A hazardous waste disposal company in Andrews County wants to handle more dangerous levels of nuclear waste. Federal agencies are pondering new rules that could allow more of it to come to Texas.

BY ERIN DOUGLAS | The Texas Tribune FEB. 10, 2021

Waste Control Specialists has been disposing of the nation’s low-level nuclear waste — including tools, building materials and protective clothing exposed to radioactivity — for a decade at a hazardous waste facility in Andrews County, on the New Mexico border. Credit: Eli Hartman for The Texas Tribune

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.

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Semis Hauling Millions of Radioactive Loads Across the Country

“…Charles is concerned, not only with the radiation he and other drivers may have been exposed to, but with the fallout from the radioactive rigs that continue to travel our nation’s highways.”

By: Duane Pohlman, WKRC

Semis hauling millions of radioactive loads across the country (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Each year, millions of radioactive loads are shipped across the country, many on trucks that travel right beside you on our highways.

The federal government says the shipments are safe, but some of those who handle and haul the toxic material disagree.

In this exclusive Local 12 Investigation, Chief Investigative Reporter Duane Pohlman interviews two of those workers.

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Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Letter to the Editor – Lon Burnam, convener of the Peace Farm board

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

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.

VIEW ORIGINAL PUBLISHED LETTER