Wednesday, June 19, 6:00-7:30 pm at 1420 Cerrillos Road. This forum explores issues with two New Mexico nuclear storage facilities—WIPP, opened in 1999 to store low-to-mid level military waste and a proposed facility to be built by Holtec International to handle high-level waste from 98 nuclear power plants across the nation.
Holtec’s proposal and possible changes at WIPP create issues to be explored by our distinguished panelists:
NM Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard
State Representative Christine Chandler (District 43), formerly, attorney with Los Alamos National Laboratory
Don Hancock, Director, Nuclear Waste Program at Southwest Research and Information Center
Sally Rodgers, Environment Policy Advisor for former NM governors; Conservation Voters NM founder
Both WIPP and the Holtec project demand our attention. WIPP is the only U.S. permanent storage repository and receives nuclear waste from Los Alamos National Lab and from other defense facilities across the nation. Recently, those shipments have increased. With the expected ramp-up of more plutonium pits, more waste will need storage. The Department of Energy has sought changes in types of waste and volume measurements, which could affect WIPP.
The Holtec project is waiting for a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build its facility, which could receive spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors, most of which are on the East Coast. The waste is to stay in this proposed facility close to Carlsbad until a permanent facility is built elsewhere. None has been agreed upon.
Local issues, local experts, local solutions — join us!