Nuclear Regulatory Commission issues license for spent nuclear fuel facility in Andrews

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 5:09 PM CDT
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ANDREWS, Texas (KOSA) - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Monday that it had issued a license to construct and operate ‘a consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel’ in Andrews.

The license was issued to Interim Storage Partners LLC. ISP is a joint venture of Waste Control Specialists, which stores low-level nuclear waste in Andrews County.

According to a release, the license will allow ISP to store up to 5,000 metric tons of spent fuel and 231.3 metric tons of Greater-Than-Class C low-level radioactive waste for the next 40 years. The release says that ISP plans to expand the facility to a capacity of 40,000 metric tons of fuel.

There is no word yet on when this facility’s construction would begin.

The State of Texas recently passed a law by State Representative Brooks Landgraf that bans the storage of nuclear waste in Texas and any issuance of construction permits for the building or operation of high-level nuclear waste facilities.

“If the NRC wants to push this as a federal vs. state issue, I think that’s something we can expect, but I think the NRC and the Biden administration can expect a fightback,” Rep. Landgraf said.

Rep. Landgraf said he hopes it doesn’t come to that, citing similar instances where the federal government honored a state’s wishes not to be the site of nuclear facilities.

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