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Texas Matters: Will You Share The Road With High Level Nuclear Waste?

Driving down a Texas highway, you could be sharing the road with an 18-wheeler carrying a load of high level nuclear waste. That’s one of the scenarios if the West Texas nuclear waste site is permitted to store the nation’s high level nuclear waste.

Waste Control Specialists, which operates a low-level nuclear waste dump in Andrews County, announced that it has applied for the license to build and maintain a temporary storage site for the spent fuel.

The group hopes to start construction by 2019 after a standard three-year review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. If the NRC signs off on the application, the facility could begin accepting used nuclear fuel by 2021.

The Nuclear power industry has spent decades seeking a permanent storage facility for the nation’s roughly 70,000 metric tons spent fuel and radioactive waste.

Tom Smith of Public Citizen says the communities along the transport route for the waste should have a say in the approval of this storage plan.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi