Video of West Texas Nuclear Waste Hearing

If you couldn’t make it to Midland in West Texas last week but would like to hear the arguments Public Citizen and others made against a proposal to send high-level nuclear waste to the region, we’ve got the video here.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission took testimony about a plan to bring deadly, high-level waste to Andrews County. Concerned citizens including elected officials, clergy, oil industry executives, parents and others oppose a corporate application for a license to store 40,000 tons of the nation’s most deadly nuclear reactor waste.

“No Texan, and no American, wants deadly and toxic nuclear waste transported through their backyard,” said Adrian Shelley, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office. “Greed and corporate profits are driving this proposal that would put our children and families at serious risk. We urge the board to consider the expert testimony that lawyers from Public Citizen and others opposed to this deeply flawed plan raised in Midland last week.

“In the meantime, we urge citizens to speak out against the proposal to dump nuclear waste in Texas by writing to their congressional and state representatives,” Shelley added.

The waste, which would be stored above ground in dry casks, consists of irradiated fuel rods from nuclear reactors, which would be transported across the country, posing risks from accidents, leaks and sabotage. Exposure to unshielded high-level radioactive waste is lethal in minutes.

The applicant, Interim Storage Partners, is a joint venture between Orano USA and Waste Control Specialists (WCS) that formed after WCS, the original applicant for interim storage of high-level waste, filed bankruptcy and was acquired by J.F. Lehman & Co.

Public Citizen, Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition, Sierra Club, Fasken Land and Minerals and others are seeking to become intervenors in the licensing process.  Collectively, their attorneys have raised 50 contentions and key issues of concern about health, safety and economic risks, as well as the legality of licensing the facility.

“Based on this hearing, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board judges will decide which parties have standing in the case, and which contentions they will accept for further consideration,” said Adrian Shelley, Director of Public Citizen’s Texas office. “It may be several months before the judges make these determinations.”