LUBBOCK (April 2, 2014) Gov. Rick Perry wants lawmakers to establish a site in Texas for storing the state's high-level radioactive waste, saying in a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus that Texas is suited to store spent nuclear fuel from the state's four commercial reactors.
Texas waste is stored by utilities operating the four reactors, but Perry wants to develop a single storage location until a national repository for nuclear waste is established.
The governor's March 28 letter also chided the federal government for its inaction in reference to Nevada's Yucca Mountain site, which utility companies in the U.S. have paid billions toward building.
It doesn't appear viable at this point, so spent fuel in the U.S. currently is stored at the more than 100 commercial nuclear reactors.
Meanwhile the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is under a tight deadline to get nuclear waste off its northern New Mexico campus before wildfire season peaks this summer, has begun trucking the remainder of the waste to a commercial site in Texas.
Los Alamos and Department of Energy officials say the first shipments arrived Wednesday at the commercial nuclear waste dump in Andrews County.
Removal of the waste was halted in February after a truck fire and radiation leak shuttered indefinitely the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico, but last month federal officials reached an agreement to move the waste temporarily to Waste Control Specialists.
The state of New Mexico pressured Los Alamos to get the material off a mesa following a massive 2011 wildfire that lapped at the edges of lab property.