Dumping radioactive waste on largely Hispanic communities with few resources to fight back would be extreme environmental injustice
By Ian Zabarte, Western Shoshone
French translation by Christine Prat
The plan to ship the nation’s deadly nuclear reactor waste to the Texas / New Mexico area should be halted immediately due to the risks of radioactive contamination from leaks, accidents or terrorist attacks. Our health, land and aquifers would be threatened as waste containing plutonium and uranium is transported, with over 10,000 shipments in a 20 year long process. A person gets exposed up close to the waste they will die within a week.
Dumping radioactive waste on largely Hispanic communities with few resources to fight back would be extreme environmental injustice. People in West Texas and New Mexico do not benefit from the power produced by nuclear reactors in other states and don’t deserve to be dumped on.
Waste Control Specialists (WCS) already applied for a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to store high-level radioactive waste for forty years at their site on the Texas/ New Mexico border.
The federal government knows that no one wants radioactive waste so they’ve been trying to find communities to “volunteer” to take it.
With this goal in mind, the US Department of Energy held eight “consent-based siting” meetings in locations around the country, but failed to come to Texas or New Mexico, the states targeted as ground zero for radioactive waste. They’ve led other communities to believe that Texas and New Mexico want radioactive waste based on a vote by County Commissioners in Andrews County, Texas. The truth is that many Andrews County people are opposed to the plan and they were never given a chance to vote. They should be able to do so.
There is no need to consolidate radioactive waste for the purpose of storage. It can remain stored and secured where it is, or close to the site of generation. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has previously said that the least risky option is to keep the waste stored securely this way.
House Energy & Commerce nuclear waste hearing June 13, 2019 on nuclear waste: NWPA 2019, HR2699, Waste prioritization HR 2995, Store Nuclear Fuel Act HR 3136.