Five GNEP Public Involvement Meetings in New Mexico

Five GNEP Public Involvement Meetings in New Mexico

Five public involvement meetings have been scheduled for two New Mexico sites for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) proposal. The GNEP is a recent Department of Energy (DOE) proposal to expand nuclear energy use worldwide and manage the waste disposal. This proposal will resurrect dangerous reprocessing and transmutation technologies that were abandoned because of resulting environmental disasters and exorbitant costs. Under this program, the U.S. would reprocess its own spent nuclear fuel, as well as fuel from other countries.

DOE awarded siting grants to contract bidders at 11 sites around the country. These grants will be used by the bidders to gather information about the environmental impact if operations take place at their site. The Eddy Lea Energy Alliance received almost $1.6 million for a proposed site between Carlsbad and Hobbs. The Eddy Lea Energy Alliance is composed of government entities within Eddy and Lea Counties in southeastern New Mexico. Energy Solutions and Gandy-Marley, Inc. received over $1.1 million for siting proposed GNEP facilities at the Triassic Park Hazardous Waste Site, about 40 miles east of Roswell. The DOE grants include funding for public involvement meetings.

The Eddy Lea Energy Alliance is hosting two meetings next week, one in Lovington on Wednesday, March 21 at 6 pm at the Troy J. Harris City Center, located at 201 South Main Street; and in Hobbs, on Thursday, March 22, beginning at 6 pm at the Hobbs Special Event Center on the Lovington-Hobbs Highway.

Energy Solutions and Gandy-Marley, Inc. are hosting three public involvement meetings for the proposed GNEP operations at the Triassic Park Hazardous Waste Site. At the meetings, four or five corporate spokespersons will make presentations about GNEP and the Triassic Park site followed by a question and answer session. A court reporter and Spanish translator will be present at each meeting.

These meetings will be held in Lovington on Tuesday, March 27 from 6 pm to 9:30 pm at the Lovington Chamber of Commerce, 201 S. Main Street in Roswell on Wednesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 29, both from 6 to 9:30 pm., at the Roswell Civic and Convention Center, 912 North Main Street; and in Albuquerque on Friday, March 30, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel, located at 1901 University Blvd, Northeast.

The siting grants require the proposed sites to submit studies about their suitability by May 1, 2007. However, DOE has required the public to submit scoping comments by April 4. More than 30 community groups and national organizations wrote to DOE Secretary Bodman requesting a 60-day extension of time to submit scoping comments. Their request was based on the new information that may be gained from the public involvement meetings and in the siting reports due to DOE on May 1. They argued that under the current schedule, the scoping comment period ends almost one month prior to the bidders submitting their site studies to DOE. Don Hancock of Southwest Research and Information Center, said "Denying the public to opportunity to respond to the siting reports and to incorporate any new information into public comments will unnecessarily restrict the thorough review that the law requires."

For more information on the GNEP please visit The public involvement meetings discussed in this update are different than the recent public scoping meetings which DOE recently held in New Mexico and continues to hold across the country.

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