The Honorable Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham,
There is only one reason to oppose the Holtec HI-STORE CISF project in Eddy and Lea counties – FEAR of nuclear. There are many reasons to support this project, such as its SAFE. The difference between those two words is RISK. There are usually two sides to every situation, and I have studied all sides of nuclear for the last ten years as a retirement hobby. As such, I have met many smart people on both sides of the nuclear debate. It is from this self-taught knowledge that I can support nuclear in New Mexico from a very pragmatic perspective.
The best way to overcome fear is through knowledge. It is the unknown and all the “what if’s” our conscience develops from past experiences. Of course, the only way to overcome that is to acknowledge it and respect it. That is what a pragmatic person does with everything we encounter in life, starting with fire. To this day, I still fear the hazards of fire, but I do use it safely. Not everyone respects fire the way it should be, but with nuclear, the entire world respects it and takes every precaution to use it and manage it safely.
The United States has always been the leader in setting the regulations for nuclear use from the “Atoms for Peace” program to the present. Our fleet of energy reactors is the safest in the world if you can be safer than safe. The only unsafe entity is one that has caused death. No one in the United States has ever died from acute radiation poisoning working within or living near a nuclear power plant or any nuclear storage facility since the beginning of the commercial nuclear energy era, approximately 70 years now. No other industry can state that record, especially our very own O&G industry and even our dairy producers (both have methane exposures).
After fear, the number one concern about the HI-STORE CISF project is: how long is interim or how many years will the stored nuclear fuel be present at the proposed site? Once spent fuel rods are placed in a safe canister-cask combination, it only needs to stay contained for 300 years while the contents decay to an inert matter state. One of the worst disinformation myths is that the stored nuclear fuel is dangerous for 10,000 years or more based on the half-life of only one of the elements: plutonium.
There is a technology that can eliminate all unused uranium, plutonium, and other fission products that make up stored nuclear fuel, all within 100 years, without any by-products or waste. That technology is molten chloride salt fast reactors being developed right here in the United States by companies like Bill Gates’ TerraPower Energy and Ed Pheil’s Elysium Industries.
Unused (spent) nuclear fuel from today’s fleet of light water reactors (LWR), should never be buried in deep underground repositories like Yucca Mt. or any borehole strategy.
Stored solid nuclear fuel rods should be retrievable. They can be recycled and reused by converting to a salt-based liquid fuel, known as molten salt-based uranium fuel. The new molten salt fuel would be the fuel source for advanced molten chloride (fast) reactors or fluoride molten salt (thermal) reactors. There is an ongoing development of this technology around the world by other nations like Canada, Indonesia, China, Russia, Japan, Germany, England, France and intended for use in many other countries to electrify the world.
I ask only one thing of you. Please take another look at how safe nuclear energy and fuel management is. New Mexico should continue to participate in this future energy source of the future. Thank you.
Martin Kral, Roswell, NM