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New Mexico news
August 26, 2012
* [n-waste-US-HLW] Here's why Carlsbad NM wants to be site of Yucca Mountain-type HLW repository, nuclear.com info nugget
June 6, 2012
New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District - retired engineer and nuclear scientist Frederick Newton of Taos was defeated in GOP primary. Rancher Jefferson Byrd of Tucumcari won 54% of the vote in this northern NM district. He will face incumbent Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D) in Nov.
August 3, 2009
"Reykjavik" - play based on 1986 summit between Reagan and Gorbachev (Aug 18 - Albuquerque)
In partnership with the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society, Umbrella Hat Productions is presenting a reading of Richard Rhodes' new play, "Reykjavik" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, 555 Camino de la Familia in the Santa Fe Railyard. Begun in collaboration with Paul Newman, the play dramatizes the summit meeting between Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 when they came close to agreeing to eliminate nuclear weapons. While the meeting ended without an agreement, it was an important beginning and led to the first treaties to reduce Cold War nuclear arsenals. Rhodes, a Pulitzer Prize winner, will discuss the play with the audience after the reading. Suggested donation $5. Reservations are recommended by calling 986-3910.
[Source: Albuquerque Journal, "AROUND NORTHERN NEW MEXICO: ... New Play To Get Reading at Museo", August 3, 2009, p. 3]
March 9, 2008
January 28, 2008
This is from the front page of today's Albuquerque Journal, of New Mexico.
March 2, 2007
Nuclear plan powers debate
A plan to store nuclear waste on lands owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe opposed and aborted in 1995 resurfaced this week in Roswell under the standard of President George Bush's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). If approved, Triassic Park, a 480-acre privately run hazardous waste facility located east of Roswell, stands to not only store spent fuel from nuclear plants but reprocess that fuel for secondary use in this country and in others.
Proponents of nuclear waste storage and recycling say both are safe and necessary. Bob Donnell, executive director of the Chaves County Development Foundation (CCDF), said Triassic Park may be an ideal place to store and possibly reprocess nuclear waste "because of its remoteness and low potential of water contamination." Layers of impermeable rock are located beneath the site, he said, citing additional safety standards that would be adopted by plant operators. Kenneth Barry, chief executive officer of Roswell National Bank and a member of CCDF, said a telephone poll conducted Monday among 2,400 residents of Roswell revealed that 56.9 percent of the people surveyed support the Gandy-Marley site or believe the project merits additional study.
Victor Blair, a local, self-styled "mercenary and trouble-maker." referred to Dale Gandy and Bill Marley, local ranchers and owners of Triassic Park, as "lying sons of bitches who cheated the public out of knowing what their plans were with nuclear waste from the beginning. "When they were trying to get licensing to open the park they told the people in meetings they would never accept any product that contained any type of carcinogen," Blair told the Ruidoso News. "Look at them now." Marley said, "Our family moved here in the late-1870s and we don't plan on moving. We have no intention of building anything in the area that is unsafe."
Roswell is one of 11 communities in the country vying for GNEP contracts for nuclear waste storage and/or recycling, and is one of two in the state. Hobbs, also located in southeastern New Mexico, is the other contender. In addition, Los Alamos, located in northern New Mexico, is seeking a related government contract for the proposed nuclear waste reprocessing research center.
Former Roswell mayor Tom Jennings also questions long-term intent and said he is opposed to more hazardous materials being brought to southeastern New Mexico. He said the public was told in the 1980s the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad would never seek to store high-level waste in the area, and yet, currently is. According to Susan Scott, communications manager for WIPP, WIPP does not store high-level waste of any sort, including nuclear waste, and is prohibited by law from doing so. WIPP disposes of transuranic wastes generated by the United States' defense program.
October 25, 2006
Nevada firm seeks to drill in N.M.
Waste to be moved through Gallup
February 20, 2006
April 16, 2005
* Homeland Security director assesses terrorist potential
"There are no existing credible threats going on in New Mexico at this time," Homeland Security Director Tim Manning said... Manning said terrorists are continually changing the way they do things to try to keep the good guys off guard. They have had success with roadside bombings so that atrocity continues but they also keep creating new ways to terrorize civilized people. "One of the emerging terrorist tactics we've seen is seizes like the schoolchildren in Russia," Manning said. "They keep changing so we have to adapt that into the way we train and exercise. We have to ensure our SWAT teams and first responders are equipped for this." ... New Mexico has several identified targets including LANL and Sandia and the military installations, he said. "Another obvious concern is our southern borders," Manning said. "A lot of people of all nationalities pass through those borders - Europeans, Africans, Middle Easterners, Asians - people from all over the world." ... Manning spoke highly of New Mexico Tech in Socorro calling its responder training the premiere program of its kind in the world. He said his office sends first responders through Tech's program as part of their emergency preparedness training. President Bush recently issued HSPD 5 and 8 requiring NIMS certification for all emergency personnel. Manning said his OEM employees began going through the certification program a couple of years ago. "We are a year ahead of the rest of the country in terms of implementing this order," he said. ... Manning said they must always remember to think creatively and be that step ahead of the terrorists the next time around. ... "We've got a good grasp on it but we must keep going, we can't get complacent. We can't ever be totally prepared, we can get close but I don't think we can ever be done."
December 7, 2004
October 2, 2004
New Mexico - Kerry opposition to Bush oil & gas drilling plan could help Democrats here
Drilling for oil and gas in wilderness areas is a big deal to many residents out West, and especially to sportsmen, said Stephen Capra, executive director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. Bush recently announced a plan that would allow expanded oil and gas drilling on Otero Mesa in southern New Mexico. Kerry opposes all oil and gas development in the publicly owned grassland, which is home to more than 250 species of songbirds. Capra says that while most environmentalists will probably vote for Kerry anyway, this issue could keep the state Democratic if it draws enough hunters, which traditionally vote Republican. Gore won New Mexico by just 366 votes.
[Source: Malia Rulon (AP writer), "Bush, Kerry hitting on local issues in swing states", October 2, 2004 12:59 pm ET]
March 17, 2004
December 30, 2003
The LES plant will be called the National Enrichment Facility.
[Source: Ruth Friedberg, "2003 was an up-and-down year for the Permian Basin", Odessa American, December 30, 2003]
December 15, 2003
LES submits application to NRC
The enrichment plant in Lea County, N.M. will have capacity of 3-million SWU/yr. The county passed two ordinances this week designed to assist LES in building the plant. LES expects the NRC to spend about 18 to 20 months reviewing the application, including holding public meetings in the Lea County area and collecting feedback from residents on the impact of the proposed facility on the community. The NRC will also hold public hearings to address safety and environmental concerns. A scoping meeting, allowing public to identify factors to be considered in the environmental impact statement, is expected in mid-February.
[Refs: Louisiana Energy Services press release, "LES Submits License Application to Nuclear Regulatory Commission", December 15, 2003; Associated Press, "License application filed for Eunice uranium factory", December 16, 2003; Michael Knapik (Platts-Washington), "LES files application with NRC", Nuclear Fuel, December 22, 2003, p. 1]
October 3, 2003
NRC to discuss licensing with public in Eunice on Nov 4
On October 1-3, 2003, staff from the NRC Divisions of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards and Waste Management held meetings with the County Manager of Lea County, New Mexico, and the Mayors of Eunice, Tatum, Jal, Hobbs, and Lovington, New Mexico, and Andrews, Texas. In these meetings, staff discussed the licensing and environmental impact statement process applicable to the Louisiana Energy Services’ proposed gas centrifuge enrichment plant planned to be located in Eunice, New Mexico. It was decided to hold a public meeting to discuss the plant licensing on November 4, 2003, at the Eunice Community Center.
[Source: NRC Office of EDO, Weekly Information Reprt, October 10, 2003]
August 12, 2003
LES turns attention to New Mexico
Jerry Clift, the County Executive of Trousdale Tennessee received a letter Friday, from Louisiana Energy Services, informing of the company's decision to put the proposed Hartsville uranium enrichment plant project on hold and explore prospects for another site. Mr. Clift was extensively quoted in Greenville Sun article, but nary a kind word for LES appears. "They weren’t interested in spending a little extra money to clean things up,” he said. “So we weren’t interested in them." The 260-acre site which LES was considering buying is now being considered as site for a new prison. If built, Mr. Clift said, the prison would bring about 400 jobs to Trousdale County. "LES wouldn’t have employed 20 people from this county", he said, noting that most Trousdale County residents don’t have the specialized education and technical skills needed for employment in a uranium-enrichment plant.
Mr. Clift expressed opinion that LES will abandon its Trousdale plans and focus, instead, on an eastern New Mexico site near Texas. "New Mexico is willing to give them anything and everything they want", Clift said. "Of course, we’re not going to give them anything. They’re (New Mexico officials) courting them (LES) pretty heavy. I just wish they had done it (looked seriously at New Mexico) six or eight months ago." Clift said lack of water may be a problem at the New Mexico site. "They’re asking for $600 million more (from New Mexico officials) than it will cost to build it", he said. "That must be to get water to the site."
The Associated Press reported on Aug. 4 that officials from Lea County, N.M., and the small town of Eunice had visited a uranium enrichment plant in the Netherlands that is similar to a $1.2 billion facility the Louisiana Energy Services consortium wants to build in the U.S. The New Mexico officials were favorably impressed with the European plant. Lea County Commission Chairman Ross Black and Mayor Claydean Claiborne of the town of Jal in the southeast corner of New Mexico were enthusiastic about the safety and cleanliness of the facility in Almelo, the Netherlands. The AP quoted Mr. Claiborne as saying "The people there have nothing but respect for the facility and the people who operate it, and I have no qualms whatsoever." The Almelo plant toured by the officials is operated by LES’ European partner, Urenco.
A $1.2 billion uranium enrichment plant for Eunice has already won support from the city of Eunice and from the Lea County Economic Development Corporation. If built near Eunice, which has a population of 2,562, the plant would likely be located four miles east of town, or almost on the Texas state line, according to the AP.
Louisiana Energy president Jim Ferland reportedly told the AP that the consortium hopes to have a number of issues resolved within the next month so that it can announce whether Lea County might replace Hartsville as the plant site. "In order to make a final decision to site the facility in Lea County, a significant number of issues relating to land acquisition, taxes, geology, environmental characterization and community support must be addressed", he said, adding "We are in the process of working through those issues."
Lea County Manager Dennis Holmberg said the county may issue up to $1.8 billion in revenue bonds for the Louisiana Energy project. The $1.8 billion figure was derived from the estimated value of the $1.2 billion plant in 2006.
The plant would employ 400 to 800 workers during the construction phase. It would be 2013 before the project is complete. Then, the plant would provide about 210 long-term jobs with a total annual payroll of more than $10 million and an average salary of $50,000, it has been said.
[Ref: Bill Jones (Sun staff writer), "LES Considering New Mexico Site For Its Uranium Enrichment Plant", The Greeneville Sun (TN), August 12, 2003]
June 27, 2003