Date: August 7th, 2019
Honorable Xochitl Torres Small
Representing the 2nd District of New Mexico
Hello! My name if Martin and I am a 71 year old retired Computer Technology Consultant, which is a short way of saying I dabbled in every aspect of the computer industry. For my retirement hobby I have continued to dabble, but in Nuclear Science and Technology for the last ten years. I have studied the history, the present and the future of nuclear reactor designs and nuclear fuel manufacturing and storage management. It is this industrial nuclear topic that I would like to have a brief visit with you to discuss three of my perspectives for New Mexico and the second district.
URENCO, a uranium enrichment process facility in Eunice NM, typically enriches uranium nuclear fuel up to 5% (U-235), which is sufficient to sustain a continuous fission reaction in our current nuclear power plants. URENCO has applied for a modification to their NCR license to increase the enrichment percentage to 20% to be used in the new advanced small modular reactor technology which include NuScale and the UAMPS project in Idaho (now called the Carbon-Free Power Project).
I support this increased uranium enrichment process at URENCO to provide fuel for the future of advanced small modular reactor power plants in the US.
HI-STORE CISF, a consolidated interim storage facility for unused (spent) nuclear fuel rods. Holtec International and Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA) have teamed up to develop a facility between Carlsbad and Hobbs, just north of WIPP. Stored nuclear fuel (SNF) from around the US will be store here in sub-surface cask for at most 300 years as the radioactive material decays to a benign non-threatening solid uranium mineral. The stored nuclear fuel will eventually be used up in future advanced molten chloride salt fast reactors to produce industrial heat for electricity, desalination, hydrogen fuel and on-demand medical isotopes, among many other products.
I support a safe $3 billion capital expenditure project where New Mexico will receive 30% of the annual gross revenue from this multi-billion dollar new business.
WIPP, waste isolation pilot plant, a Department of Energy waste management facility for transuranic radioactive materials from DOE nuclear manufacturing installations, mostly the National Labs, from around the country. For the last twenty years, WIPP trucks have hauled 12,500 payloads of hazardous cargo (transuranic waste) with drivers traveling over 14.9 million miles. There have been no leaks of radioactive material, personal injuries or environmental issues.
The primary reason for this overall safety culture is with the high-quality drivers and carrier compliance to the rigid regulations of the NRC and the US DOT. WIPP is expected to receive up to 37,000 shipments from federal (DOE) storage facilities over the next ~30 years.
I support the expansion of the DOE WIPP license to also store non-fuel and non-product very low inventory of high level radioactive waste from the commercial market place. This requires several state and federal laws to by modified.
New Mexico could become the center of the advanced nuclear fuel industry with URENCO, HI-STORE, WIPP and many secondary businesses like medical isotope development and other unique isotope research projects with extractions from URENCO and HI-STORE nuclear fuel storage.
The US nuclear industry is starting to experience another growth cycle with several financial support bills in Congress for the next generation of nuclear power plants. URENCO will expand its product line to include 20% fuel enrichment for the advanced small modular reactors, scheduled for the mid 2020’s. A new advance liquid fuel conversion facility next to HI-STORE CISF will be needed to convert stored nuclear solid fuel rods to liquid fuel for advanced molten chloride salt reactors scheduled for the 2030 timeline.
I would really like to have just a few minutes of your time to basically introduce you to these opportunities and answer any questions or concerns you may have. I am not financially invested in any of the industries mentioned and can offer a very pragmatic global perspective of each. My personal view sees all these businesses inter-related.
Thank you for this opportunity to share some of my thoughts about the future of energy in New Mexico, the United States and the rest of the world.
Mr. Martin Kral
575-317-0610 (text or phone)