Holtec - Sending Spent Nuclear Waste From Here to New Mexico
Holtec International (Holtec) located in Camden, NJ is seeking a federal license to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel/waste that would be transported from all over the nation to southeast New Mexico. This proposal is unsafe and unwise for people, communities and the environment in New Mexico and in those locations from where the waste will be taken. We know that PSEG's Salem Nuclear Generating Station will be one source of waste. Delaware Riverkeeper Network has taken the position that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs to focus on a permanent solution for addressing the hazardous nuclear waste that has been created as the result of the agency’s reviews, approvals and oversight. Interim storage is a half measure that needlessly increases the threat of contamination from nuclear waste transport and storage to our environment and communities, which is neither an appropriate, nor a defensible solution.
Delaware Riverkeeper Network believes that licensing the Holtec facility will wrongly pass off the problem of spent nuclear waste to communities in New Mexico. All across the country communities have benefited from the creation of this waste -- and to now put the communities of New Mexico in the sacrifice zone as the repository for this joint problem is simply wrong. New Mexico did not benefit from this waste, and in fact has worked hard to preserve their natural landscapes for their ecological, human health, recreational and economic values -- bringing this waste to New Mexico as proposed puts in jeopardy all of the investment and effort that secured the preservation of important and irreplaceable natural resources.
Delaware Riverkeeper Network teamed up with Green Amendments For The Generations to submit comments in opposition to this dangerous proposal.
As noted in our comment:
- The Draft EIS fails to consider the foreseeable expansion and/or life extension requests of aged and aging nuclear plants once the burden of waste storage has been lifted. Seeking and securing life extensions has become common practice amongst nuclear power plants. These extensions can have significant consequences. They not only increase the amount of nuclear waste that needs to be addressed, but they can also inflict significant environmental harm. For example, the PSEG Salem Nuclear Generating station located on Artificial Island in Salem County, NJ kills over 14 billion fish, larvae and eggs every year due to the outdated once through cooling technology it uses. Once relieved of the obligation to store growing amounts of nuclear waste, it is foreseeable that PSEG would seek an additional life extension for Salem resulting in additional massive fish kills every year. A wide variety of species including endangered sturgeon, as well as a variety of recreational and commercial interests dependent on the Delaware’s aquatic life populations are harmed by Salem’s operations. A life extension for Salem will increase and extend the significant environmental and economic burdens on the Delaware River system and communities inflicted by Salem. Impacts such as those at the PSEG Salem Nuclear Generating Station may occur at other nuclear plants and these foreseeable impacts are not evaluated; in fact, the Draft EIS does not even identify which facilities will be sending their SNF to the Holtec facility.