Holtec issues licensing intent on New Mexico spent fuel facility

Holtec International sent a letter of intent to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission last week seeking to begin the licensing process for a proposed interim used nuclear fuel facility in New Mexico.

The company plans to build and operate the facility on land owned by the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA), which is a partnership of Eddy and Lea counties and the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs.   

The letter indicated that Holtec had the support of the local community and the endorsement of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

Holtec officials also said the area of the proposed facility has already undergone in-depth investigations because of its proximity to the Waste Isolation Pilot plant in Eddy County owned by the U.S. Department of

The proposed facility would utilize HI-STORM UMAX containment technology to store the used nuclear fuel underground in steel and concrete canisters. 

Pierre Oneid, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of Holtec, recently said that if the licensing process is completed by 2019, the facility could be operational within a year.

The facility would initially manage fuel from plants currently undergoing decommissioning and those that already have been shut down including: Zion, Yankee Rowe, Humboldt Bay and La Crosse among others.

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Nuclear Energy Institute

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