May 2, 2023
US regulators delay decision to license New Mexico nuclear facility
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has delayed its decision to license a nuclear facility in New Mexico. The facility, known as the Holtec International facility, is designed to store spent nuclear fuel from power plants across the country.
The NRC was expected to make a decision on the license application by the end of 2020, but has now pushed the decision back to at least January 2021. The delay comes after concerns were raised about the safety of the facility and the potential risks it poses to the environment and nearby communities.
The Holtec facility is designed to store up to 8,680 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel, which is currently being stored at various power plants across the country. The facility would be located in southeastern New Mexico, near the border with Texas.
Opponents of the facility have raised concerns about the potential for accidents or leaks, which could release radioactive material into the environment. They also worry about the transportation of the spent fuel to the facility, which would involve shipping it across the country on trains and trucks.
Proponents of the facility argue that it is necessary to address the growing problem of spent nuclear fuel storage. They say that the facility is designed to be safe and secure, and that it will provide a long-term solution for the storage of nuclear waste.
The NRC has been conducting a thorough review of the license application, including an environmental impact statement and public hearings. The delay in the decision is intended to allow the NRC to fully consider all of the concerns raised by opponents of the facility.
The decision to delay the license application is a setback for Holtec International, which has been working on the project for several years. The company has invested millions of dollars in the facility, and has said that it will create hundreds of jobs in the area.
The delay also highlights the ongoing debate over the storage of nuclear waste in the United States. The country currently has no long-term solution for the storage of spent nuclear fuel, and the issue has become increasingly urgent as more and more power plants reach the end of their operational lives.
The decision on the Holtec facility will have significant implications for the future of nuclear energy in the United States. If the facility is licensed, it could pave the way for the construction of similar facilities across the country. If it is not licensed, it could force the government to find alternative solutions for the storage of nuclear waste.