Washington gives WIPP a thumbs up

From Capitol Report New Mexico - Nobody likes nuclear waste but it’s gotta go somewhere.
And it seems as long as Harry Reid is the US Senate Majority Leader, it ain’t going to Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. But right here in New Mexico, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is getting attention since it opened back in 1999 and the Obama administration nominee for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission told a Senate panel on Capitol Hill this week that “I don’t think we even need to look to other countries for lessons [on how to handle nuclear waste]. We’re the only country with a deep geological repository already up and running — and it’s in New Mexico.” Here’s more from the Washington Post’s Brad Plumer: Any long-term storage facility for nuclear waste will have to overcome local unease and opposition — that’s what’s bogged down Yucca Mountain. But Carlsbad’s $2.5-billion plant was actually welcomed by local residents, who were worried about what would happen to the area’s economy once its potash mines ran out. As Roger Nelson of the Energy Department’s Carlsbad office told me, Carlsbad’s residents managed to lobby wary state legislators in New Mexico to drop their opposition. Since the plant opened a decade ago, the small desert town of 27,000 has been teeming with high-tech jobs. Read more


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