“This is a bad idea, full stop. Placing a nuclear storage facility in the heart of oil and gas operations is a recipe for ecological disaster and unnecessarily puts New Mexicans at risk,
Bottom line, the world’s most active oil and gas producing field is not the right place for a long-term nuclear waste storage site. Holtec needs to understand that New Mexico is not the nation’s dumping ground and should stop misleading the public about the dangers their proposal presents.” — Land Commissioner-elect Stephanie Garcia Richard
Federal nuclear officials gave the green light to a project which would store high-level nuclear waste at a facility in southeast New Mexico, despite concerns from state and federal leaders it would expose residents to radiation.
Holtec International, headquartered in Jupiter, Florida, applied in 2017 for a 40-year license to store 8,680 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel rods in 500 cannisters from power plants across the country, using a surface-level facility in a remote desert area near the border of Eddy and Lea counties.
That would be the first of 20 phases of the project that could ultimately include more than 100,000 metric tons in a total of 10,000 canisters holding the waste.