The NFRC was established in 2002 to promote the construction and operation of nuclear reprocessing facilities. NFRC promotes reprocessing commercial spent nuclear fuel that is generated by commercial nuclear power plants.

Reprocessing dramatically reduces the amount of high-level radioactive waste that would have to be stored in a geologic repository. We also support reprocessing plutonium and highly enriched uranium from nuclear warheads into fuel for use in commercial nuclear power plants.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Southern New Mexico Nuclear Fuel Storage Deal

The Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA) includes the New Mexico Eddy and Lea County governments and the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs. The organization was formed to convince the U.S. Department of Energy that it should consider a site in this area for a proposed integrated nuclear fuel reprocessing facility.

The Alliance purchased 1,000 acres between Eddy and Lea County off U.S. Highway 62-180 and seven miles north of the Waste Isolation. As a result of the purchases, the Alliance was among eleven successful entities selected to receive federal grants to conduct detailed siting stud-ies for integrated spent fuel recycling facilities under the Department of Energy's Global Nuclear Partnership initiatives.

The alliance received over a million dollars for the siting study, but was not successful in getting the project built in the southeast corner of the state. Since then, the alliance has explored potential nuclear projects that could be built on the site.

This week the alliance announced it has struck a deal with French firm AREVA to help create an above-ground interim storage facility to store nuclear fuel on the 1,000 acres between Carlsbad and Hobbs. The facility is being billed as a safe way to temporarily house used fuel from nuclear power plants. The facility would provide more than 150 job opportunities, including positions for armed guards, nuclear scientists, engineers and managerial and administrative staff, according a news release.

The Alliance chose AREVA from a pool of 10 potential partners because the firm already has experience operating an above-ground interim storage facility in France. If plans proceed, the Eddy/Lea operation would be the first in the United States. AREVA is a good choice because it has experience in the nuclear industry and it has joined with Babcock and Wilson Technical Services Group in the URS Corporation led nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, to manage the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant located about 27 miles east of Carlsbad. (El Paso Times, 10/12/2012)

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