Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future Meets in New Mexico on January 26, 27 and 28

January 21, 2011

The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, established by President Obama to provide advice and recommendations on nuclear waste storage, processing, and disposal, will make its only visit to New Mexico and hold public meetings in Carlsbad and Albuquerque.

On Thursday, January 27, the Commission will meet in Carlsbad, beginning at 8:30 am at the Pecos River Conference Facility. On Friday, January 28, the Commission will meet in Albuquerque, beginning at 8:30 am at the Hyatt Regency, located near the Albuquerque Convention Center. Presentations will be made at both meetings by elected officials, including the New Mexico Congressional Delegation and Governor Martinez, and New Mexico activists, including Don Hancock, of Southwest Research and Information Center; Margret Carde, a retired lawyer and former CCNS staff member; and Susan Gordon, of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. There will be opportunities to make public comment at both meetings, but it is necessary to register at the meeting during the morning session. An hour has been scheduled for public comment, so the time allocated for each speaker will depend upon the number who wish to speak, but will not exceed five minutes.

The Commission was formed following President Obama's cancelation of the Yucca Mountain Project, which was built to dispose of high-level waste generated from nuclear power plants. The Commission is comprised of 15 members, including former New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici. The co-chairs are former Representative Lee Hamilton and Retired General Brent Scowcroft. Other members are from the nuclear industry, retired members of Congress, academia, and think tanks.

On Wednesday, January 26, the Commission will tour the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located east of Carlsbad. It is the world's only geologic disposal site for plutonium-contaminated waste from the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

This spring, the Commission will release its draft report. Over the last year, the commissioners have learned that the federal government cannot force high-level nuclear waste to be dumped on a state that does not want it. For example, Nevadans stopped the Yucca Mountain dump.

Don Hancock, of Southwest Research and Information Center, said, "The Commission and New Mexico officials need to hear that New Mexicans will not accept the storage, transportation, or disposal of high-level nuclear waste in New Mexico. Enough is enough! New Mexico already has more than 2.5 million cubic feet of nuclear waste at WIPP, millions of tons of uranium waste, and millions of cubic feet of nuclear waste buried at Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories."

For more information about the Commission, meeting agendas, and the presentations at previous meetings, please visit . You also may submit electronic comments to .

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