The way in which some New Mexico lawmakers are ganging up against Holtec International’s plans to build a consolidated interim storage site for spent nuclear fuel makes it seem that everyone in the state is against the project, no matter that the benefits would far outweigh any risks.
But, as a recent editorial in the Albuquerque Journal illustrates, the communities of southeastern New Mexico, where the facility would be located, are firmly behind the project. They are, after all, well versed in nuclear technology and cognizant of the economic and social benefits it would bring.
Nuclear triangle: According to the Journal editorial, the Holtec project is supported by local leaders, including Carlsbad mayor Dale Janway, who warned that the bills recently passed by state lawmakers would “undo years of careful study and evaluation.”
The editorial continues, “As Janway points out, the region’s ‘nuclear triangle’ has a high level of expertise and experience supporting this industry—from the U.S. Department of Energy’s $19 billion Waste Isolation Pilot Plant southeast of Carlsbad to the $4 billion Urenco USA uranium enrichment plant east of Eunice to the planned spent fuel storage facility run by Waste Control Specialists and French firm Areva Inc. just across the Texas line. ‘We would not have invited Holtec to southeast New Mexico if we believed otherwise,’ he wrote.”