Federal regulators have scheduled a series of public meetings, the first one in Roswell, as they consider a plan to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear reactors around the United States at a proposed site in southern New Mexico.
The first meeting hosted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be from 4 to 10 p.m. on Monday on the Eastern New Mexico University campus in Roswell.
According to the university’s schedule, the meeting will be held in the alcove and multipurpose rooms of the the Campus Union Building, 48 University Blvd.
Another meeting will follow Tuesday in Hobbs and a third will be May 3 in Carlsbad.
The public comment period will last through May on the application filed by Holtec International.
Holtec International and a coalition of local leaders from southeastern New Mexico first announced plans three years ago to construct a below-ground space for temporarily housing tons of spent nuclear fuel. The company is seeking an initial 40-year license.
According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the initial request is for storage of up to 8,680 metric tons of waste.
But according to a company official, the “ultimate target” is for up to 100,000 metric tons of spent rods. If the company’s application is approved, the high-level nuclear waste would be stored at the interim facility “until a permanent storage option is available.”
Holtec has provided solutions for managing the backend of the nuclear power cycle for commercial nuclear power plants since 1986.
The company in headquartered in New Jersey and has locations throughout the world, including Pennsylvania and Florida.