We've noted a couple of times in recent days that Gov. Rick Perry's appointees to the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission are but days away from closing comment on Harold Simmons's permit application to bury 36 states' nuclear waste out in West Texas. Ah, but see, Public Citizen's Tom "Smitty" Smith and the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition want to point out one more thing before comments close on Sunday, which is: Sure, the waste'll get buried out in West Texas, but it'll hardly be out of sight, out of mind. Who knows -- it just might wind up in your town too!
Down in Austin this morning, the Nuke-Free Texans held a press conference during which Santa Claus himself rolled out a black waste barrel -- the very kind that could rumble through Texas towns should the commission give Simmons the okee-doke to bury the radioactive waste out in Andrews. To the release!
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While routes are not yet designated, potential routes would take waste from the Gulf Coast area on Interstate 10 through Houston and San Antonio; waste from southern states would be trucked on I-20 and I-30 though Dallas and Forth Worth; Midwestern and Northeastern waste would be driven on I-40 and I-27 though Lubbock and Amarillo; and waste from Western states would be driven though the cities of El Paso and Odessa taking I-10 and I-20, according to Martin Resnikoff of Radioactive Waste Management Associates. ...
"Truck crashes occur all the time on our highways," Smith said. "This plan would dramatically increase the amount of radioactive waste traveling through our communities. We believe that if people know what is at stake, they will contact state officials and demand that the compact commission drop the proposal."
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rules provide that class "A" wastes can be shipped in so-called "strong tight containers," barrels that do not have to pass any integrity test. About 10 percent of these containers that have been involved in accidents have failed. Of those, about 90 percent have released their contents, according to the NRC.