Halt Holtec! Get Your Public Comments in by Monday, July 30th

photo: mhayden@abqjournal.com

Now is the time to submit your comments to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about the proposed Holtec project to bring all the commercial high-level radioactive waste from across the country to a site in southeast New Mexico.  Comments are due by Monday, July 30th to Holtec-CISFEIS@nrc.gov.  Thousands of New Mexicans have empathically stated that they do not consent to New Mexico becoming a national radioactive waste dumping ground for high-level waste.  They have submitted written comments and spoke eloquently at public meetings in Roswell, Hobbs, Carlsbad, Gallup, and Albuquerque, pointing out that New Mexico has none of that waste.  Sample public comment letters are available at http://nonuclearwasteaqui.org/ and https://action.citizen.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13813

The NRC is asking for comments about the Holtec 543-page environmental report.  It provides information about the 960-acre site located half way between Hobbs and Carlsbad, which contains playa lakes.  Holtec, a limited liability corporation, is asking NRC for a 40-year license to temporarily store the waste in Lea County, with an opportunity to extend the license to 120 years.  Holtec has stated that the waste could be stored there for 300 years.  https://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/cis/hi/hi-app-docs.html

Nevertheless, the federal government may never find a permanent place for the waste, with the real possibility of the proposed Holtec temporary storage site becoming a permanent site.  The environmental report omits the long-term impacts of spent radioactive fuel being left there indefinitely.

Over 10,000 overweight rail cars on rickety tracks carrying the dangerous waste would crisscross the country to the proposed site. Proposed transportation maps are available at:  http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/356082/27450667/1486998445013/Rail-Transport+routesWCS-1.pdf?token=wgGRSYLr7EbqxLd54LrQ0V8Jd4s%3D and http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/356082/27010289/1462420316290/5+4+16+WCS+Transportation+Maps.jpg?token=fdXd0O9cuEa7l77eBIMXkEv0ih4%3D  and water transportation routes by state, https://web.archive.org/web/20151101154823/http://www.nirs.org/fukushimafreeways/watertransport.htm

Even so, the Holtec report omits all of the transportation routes and does not discuss potential impacts of accidents or terrorism incidents on public health and safety.

The environmental report does not analyze how radioactive waste from a cracked or leaking storage canister would be handled since the Holtec site will not have hot cells or pools to handle the leaking waste.

Finally, Holtec estimates there will be as many as 135 jobs for the construction and operating phases.  This is a small number of jobs compared to the damage that could be done, if there was a leak or accident involving the Holtec proposal, to the 28,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry and the 6,000 jobs in the dairy industry.

Please submit your comments to the NRC at Holtec-CISFEIS@nrc.gov about the inadequacies of the environmental report and what should be included in the agency’s draft environmental impact statement.

This has been the CCNS News Update.  For more information, please visit http://nuclearactive.org/ , No Nuclear Waste Aqui at http://nonuclearwasteaqui.org/ , Beyond Nuclear at http://www.beyondnuclear.org/ , the Nuclear Information and Resource Service at https://www.nirs.org/ , and Public Citizen at https://action.citizen.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13813


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