“A storage facility cannot be “interim” without a final, designated location. Such a site does not exist. And when it comes to anything nuclear, there’s no such thing as interim or temporary.”
The federal government’s longstanding failure to build a repository for nuclear waste should not be left for New Mexico to solve.
Yet a decision last week by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue a license to “temporarily” store tons of spent nuclear fuel in New Mexico could mean waste from commercial power plants across the nation will end up buried in the state. It’s bad news for us, of course, but it’s catastrophic for a nation that has never fully come to grips with the reality of nuclear power.
To recap: The commission said it will allow Holtec International to build and operate a nuclear waste storage facility near the Lea and Eddy County line in far southeast New Mexico.
This, despite the clear message from New Mexico’s congressional delegation, governor and statewide elected officials that the state is not interested in being the one-size-fits-all nuclear storage solution for the country. New Mexico already hosts the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. It stores transuranic waste, a byproduct of the country’s nuclear defense program.