City approves resolution opposing nuclear storage facility
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Las Cruces has become the latest community in New Mexico to voice opposition to building a nuclear waste storage facility in the southeast corner of the state.
The Las Cruces City Council approved a resolution July 23 opposing the transport and storage of high-level nuclear waste in the state. The Las Cruces Sun-News reported .
Holtec International, a New Jersey-based company specializing in nuclear storage, has applied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to construct a nuclear waste storage facility about 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Carlsbad.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is accepting public comment on the proposal through Monday. The council voted in support of the resolution after discussing the issue for nearly two-and-a-half hours.
“There is always a danger,” said City Councilor Yvonne Flores, who supported the resolution. “There’s always the potential for human error. There will be accidents. Poor little New Mexico — I feel like we always get dumped on.”
Albuquerque’s City Council and the Bernalillo County Commission have passed resolutions opposing the transportation of high-level nuclear waste through their jurisdictions in response to the proposal, but not construction of the nuclear storage facility.
City councils in two small towns near the proposed disposal site, Jal and Lake Arthur, have also passed resolutions opposing the project.
The facility, to be located in western Lea County, could eventually store up to 10,000 shipments of spent nuclear fuel, as much as 120,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste, from nuclear power plants around the country. It would be stored just below the surface.
The facility is intended to be a temporary storage site, storing nuclear waste only until a permanent storage facility can be built. But opponents fear that it could become permanent because plans for a long-term repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have stalled because of opposition.
Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com