Bexar County Says No To High-Level Nuclear Waste Route | Texas Public Radio

Bexar County Says No To High-Level Nuclear Waste Route

Feb 21, 2017

Proposed plans to develop a nuclear waste disposal site in Andrews County along the Texas-New Mexico border have gotten the attention of Bexar County.

There are concerns that some high-level radioactive waste would be transported through this area on trains.  Not only can accidents happen, but there’s also the threat of terrorist attacks.

Tom ‘Smitty’ Smith, the former director of Public Citizen Texas, addressed Bexar County Commissioners Court on Tuesday.

“In the state report that looked at this, the TCEQ report, it said that the greatest risk is probably in transportation,” said Smith. “And in transportation, the places you want to look at are the high value targets. Not a little town of 15,000 on the New Mexico border, but places like San Antonio where you’ve got military bases that have the strategic air command.”

Commissioner Tommy Calvert also gave a perspective of the level of radioactive material.

“A single train car would likely contain as much plutonium as was in the bomb that dropped on Nagasaki,” said Calvert. “That is alarming, that is a risk that is not worth our community taking.”

Commissioners Court passed a resolution opposing consent to transport high-level radioactive waste on railways or highways through Bexar County.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will determine the routes.