Amid New Mexico’s history of legacy pollution, Holtec tells lawmakers that nuclear storage proposal is safe and secure
Officials with the company that wishes to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel in New Mexico are working to assure lawmakers that it would be both safe and secure.
Holtec International Project Director Ed Mayer presented the plans for the nuclear fuel storage to the Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee on Thursday during its meeting in Hobbs. His presentation comes as New Mexico has been fighting the company’s proposal. During this year’s legislative session, legislators introduced a bill to ban the storage of spent nuclear fuel in New Mexico. While the bill made it through two committees, the House ultimately did not pass the proposal.
Related: Bill to ban spent nuclear fuel storage in New Mexico passes committee
While the bill did not pass this year, spent nuclear fuel storage will likely be debated once again during next year’s session. In July, after the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced plans to issue a license to Holtec to construct and operate the facility, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called upon the Legislature to “deliver a proposal to my desk that protects New Mexico from becoming the de facto home of the country’s spent nuclear fuel and it will have my full support.”
Opponents point to the risks surrounding radioactive material as well as the history of pollution in New Mexico and environmental racism.