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NRC Grants License for High-Level Nuclear Waste, Disregarding Bipartisan Texas Opposition

AUSTIN — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license today to Interim Storage Partners LLC to build and operate a nuclear waste dump in Andrews, Texas. The decision goes  against the will of Texans, including cities, counties, the Texas Legislature, Gov. Greg Abbott, and numerous anti-nuclear and environmental advocacy groups.

The license grants Interim Storage Partners permission to receive, possess, transfer, and store up to 5,000 metric tons of spent fuel and more than 230 metric tons of low-level radioactive waste for 40 years. The company has said it plans to expand the facility in seven additional phases, up to a total capacity of 40,000 metric tons of fuel. Public Citizen, the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition, and others supported the Texas Legislature’s vote in August to ban high-level nuclear waste in Texas. Abbott has signed the legislation into law.

Adrian Shelley, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, issued the following statement:

“We’re disappointed by the decision so soon after Texas lawmakers expressed near unanimous opposition to high-level radioactive waste. The bill makes it illegal for Texas to issue permits for new types of radioactive waste. They won’t be opening new dumps in Texas without a fight.”