[ RadSafe ] Low-level radioactive waste dump in West Texas[Serco No Marking]

Scott Kirk skirk at VALHI.NET
Thu Jan 6 09:00:07 CST 2011

The site operated by Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) will be the first site developed under the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act as amended in 1985. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality conducted an extensive review of the site's characteristics and suitability to safely dispose of Low-Level Radioactive Waste (LLW). This licensing review began in 2004 and was completed last year. In my opinion the controversy stems from the fact that anti-nuclear activists do not want the site to succeed because WCS very well may able to provide disposal options to waste generators in 36 states that currently do not have access to a facility for disposal of Class B/C LLW. 


One of the remarkable characteristics of the site is the tremendous support that the regional communities in west Texas and eastern New Mexico have provided to license and operate this site. These folks in the Permian Basin have been pioneers in the energy field transitioning from oil and gas, to wind farms, solar energy and nuclear power. The URENCO facility that is currently enriching uranium for commercial nuclear power fuel shares a common border with WCS in Lea County, New Mexico. The WIPP facility is located about 70 miles to the west of WCS. International Isotopes is also licensing a facility to support the production certain radiopharmaceuticals also in Lea County, New Mexico.  Local highways have signs designating the region as the "Energy Corridor". 


The actions this week by the Texas Compact Commission to approve a rule that will establish the process to allow import LLW for disposal in the Texas Compact Waste Facility operated by WCS. The Texas Compact Commission has been deliberating this rule for well over a year. They heard testimony from the medical and research communities on the impacts they face due to the limited options that currently exists for disposal of Class B/C LLW. Other stakeholders raised similar concerns regarding the lack of options for disposal of disused sealed sources.


WCS is currently licensed to treat certain mixed radioactive waste, dispose of 11.e(2) byproduct materials (3776 canisters of the Fernald Silo uranium-bearing residues were disposed of at WCS in Oct. 2009), and now LLW. They plan to open the Texas Compact Waste Disposal Facility late this year and then a Federal Waste Disposal Facility six months thereafter.


They have an excellent blog at http://www.texassolutionblog.com/ <http://www.texassolutionblog.com/>  

J. Scott Kirk, CHP
Waste Control Specialists LLC
Vice President, Licensing, Corporate Compliance and RSO
Three Lincoln Centre, Suite 1700
5430 LBJ Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75204
Work: 972-450-4233
Cell: 214-681-7178


From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu on behalf of Derek Putley
Sent: Thu 1/6/2011 2:24 AM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Low-level radioactive waste dump in West Texas[Serco No Marking]


Thanks for your post - it is interesting news. My understanding is that the Andrews site has already been approved to receive LLW originating from within the State of Texas.

The referenced blog and associated weblinks seem to show that there has been some controversity in respect of the environmental safety case for the Andrews plant.

In the UK most of the LLW that has been disposed of has been sent to the Low Level Waste Repository near Drigg in Cumbria (see http://www.llwrsite.com/).

This is the national repository for LLW in the UK and has operated since 1959. Within the next few years the UK Environment Agency we will be reviewing whether to carry on authorising LLW disposal at this Repository (see http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/sectors/115648.aspx).

Best Regards

Derek Putley

Technical Area Lead (Criticality)

Serco (Technical Services)
Thomson House, Risley, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 6GA, UK

>>> radsafe-request at health.phys.iit.edu> 05 Jan 2011 18:00 >> ( mailto:radsafe-request at health.phys.iit.edu> )

>Message: 9
>Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 16:04:49 -0800
>From: "Cary Renquist" <cary.renquist at ezag.com>
>Subject: [ RadSafe ] Low-level radioactive waste dump in West Texas
>gets OKto import

>Low-level radioactive waste dump in West Texas gets OK | Salsa Verde

>Texas can import low-level radioactive waste from 36 other states, a
>commission run jointly by Texas and Vermont decided Tuesday in Andrews

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