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NRC issues license for nuclear waste storage facility in Andrews

This decision comes not long after Abbott signed a bill into law banning the storage of high-level waste in the state of Texas.

ANDREWS, Texas — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced in a press release on September 13 that is has issues a license for the construction and operation of an interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in Andrews.

According to the release, this facility would allow Interim Storage Partners to "receive, possess, transfer and store up to 5,000 metric tons of spent fuel and 231.3 metric tons of Greater-Than-Class C low-level radioactive waste for 40 years."

This facility could potential expand to hold up to 40,000 metric tons of fuel with license amendments and extra safety and environmental reviews.

The site of the storage facility would be on property adjacent to the WCS low-level radioactive waste disposal site already operating in Andrews.

All of this comes after a bill prohibiting the storage of nuclear waste within Texas, proposed by State Representative Brooks Landgraf, recently was signed into law by Governor Abbott.

However, as the NRC is a federal regulator, this decision could override the wishes of the state despite the law being passed.

Andrews Commissioners have also previously voted against the storage of high-level nuclear waste within the county.

The NRC says this is only the second license of this kind issued, though that facility was never built. It is also reportedly looking into a similar facility being proposed for Lea County, New Mexico.