West Texas facility to temporarily store used nuclear fuel

The Nuclear Energy Institute announced Monday it planned to use a storage facility in west Texas to store used nuclear fuel. | Nuclear Energy Institutue

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) announced Monday it plans to store used nuclear power fuel at a Waste Control Specialist (WCS) facility in west Texas.

The NEI said the plan was a “promising project” and proves challenges in storing nuclear fuel at a national level are solvable.

Beverly Marshall, NEI senior director of federal programs, said the WCS plans to submit an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She said the application was “a significant development and could enable the federal government to meet its statutory obligation and begin moving used fuel before a repository is open.”

WCS, based in Andrews County, Texas, said the interim storage facility is similar to those used at more than 60 power plant sites around the United States.

“I am confident that WCS, Andrews County and the state of Texas are uniquely positioned to provide an interim solution for the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle while a permanent solution is pursued,” WCS CEO William Lindquist said.

WCS has managed low-level radioactive waste facilities in the county since 2012, and the Andrews County Commission on Jan. 20 unanimously supported the interim project to house the nuclear fuel.

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