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New Mexico’s Nuclear Underground: An Our Land Special

This year, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a 40-year license for a private company, Holtec International, to build a facility between Hobbs and Carlsbad that would store nuclear waste from power plants the company is decommissioning in states from New Jersey to California. New Mexico already stores transuranic waste from nuclear weapons production in the salt caverns at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant or WIPP.  This project would be different, and would eventually hold up to 10,000 canisters, with each canister holding 8,680 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial power plants. The New Mexico State Legislature passed Senate Bill 53 this year, which would prohibit state agencies from issuing permits, contracts or leases for the facility—unless the state approves the facility or the federal government moves forward with a permanent storage spot for the nation’s commercial nuclear waste.  

On this special episode of Our Land, we hear from John Heaton, a former New Mexico state representative who works with Holtec; Sen. Jeff Steinborn, the sponsor of Senate Bill 53; and Dr. Myrriah Gómez, a professor at the University of New Mexico and the author of “Nuclear Nuevo México: Colonialism and the Effects of the Nuclear Industrial Complex on Nuevomexicanos.”

Host: Laura Paskus

Holtec Proponent John Heaton Pt. 1 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus 
Guest: John Heaton, chair, Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance 

Understanding the Effects of New Mexico’s Nuclear Industrial Complex 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus 
Guest: Dr. Myrriah Gómez, author of “Nuclear Nuevo México.” 

Holtec Proponent John Heaton Pt. 2 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus 
Guest: John Heaton, chair, Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance 

NM Senator Explains Formal Opposition to Holtec Proposal 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus 
Guest: Jeff Steinborn, (D) NM District 36 – Doña Ana County 

For More Information: 

Nuclear waste storage permit slated for September public meeting – Source NM 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Approves Nuclear Waste License in NM – Our Land 

Concern Over Nuclear Disposal Plan – Our Land