A repository for spent nuclear fuel rods was proposed to be built in west Texas, even as a southeast New Mexican consortium hopes for a similar facility near Carlsbad and Hobbs.
Orano USA, a subsidiary of France-based global nuclear energy company Orano – previously known as Areva, announced a joint venture with Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists (WCS) to bring a consolidated interim storage (CIS) facility to Andrews, Texas.
A CIS facility is used to store the spent nuclear fuel rods temporarily, while a permanent repository is built.
The rods are presently being stored at their generator sites: active and decommissioned nuclear reactor facilities around the country.
The move would augment WCS’ 14,000-acre facility in west Texas, which is licensed for low-grade nuclear waste, but not for spent nuclear fuel.
The United States does not have a permanent repository, after the Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain project in Nevada stalled under the administration of former U.S. President Barrack Obama.
In total, the facility would hold about 40,000 metric tons of the waste, stored above ground and accepted in 5,000-ton phases, records show.
Officials predicted it could begin accepting waste by 2021.
Read more at New nuclear energy and fuel waste storage facilities emerging near Carlsbad?