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From Nuclear Waste to a Medical Treasure:

When it comes to a miracle drug to cure cancer, you have to be very careful with what you read and it is always best to talk to your oncologist. However, there has been some major advancements in treatments that have done well to suppress various types of cancers. Given that disclosure, there is a cure for some cancers found in an Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) nuclear waste storage container. Actinium-225, an isotope of the element actinium, which is usually found in uranium, is proving effective in curing – not just treating – myeloid leukemia.

Using actinium to cure myeloid leukemia is the only clinical trial for the isotope in the United States currently, but multiple trials are going on in Europe where they have found the isotope is also effective in treating prostate cancer and brain tumors. For now, American patients who have acute myeloid leukemia and are over the age of 60 can participate in the experimental treatment here, as long as they have gone through other treatments without success or if the disease has come back from remission. The isotope, when combined with tumor-seeking antibodies, is able to target and kill cancer cells without affecting healthy cells that surround them.

To start with, how did they find this cure and why were they looking at actinium? With millions of procedures a year, nuclear medicine is a force to be reckoned with. Ever since the discovery of x-rays, thanks to Madame Curie, and the mechanisms of the atom, medicine has made a quantum leap into the future. Radionuclides and radioactivity have helped us diagnose and treat countless numbers of conditions and diseases, which would otherwise have remained elusive to us. So it was only natural to find other isotopes in the nuclear sequence.

Myeloid leukemia is a rare and rapidly progressing blood and bone marrow cancer that interferes with the body’s production of platelets and normal white and red blood cells. The cancer is treatable in young patients, but often fatal for people over 60 years of age. That’s particularly problematic because the American Cancer Society says 67 is the average age of diagnosis. That is why the clinical trials are for those over 60 years of age. Actinium-225 has successfully treated the disease in elderly patients. ORNL nuclear medical scientist Dr. Saed Mirzadeh said some patients went into remission after only one treatment.

Dr. Mirzadeh came to ORNL from Iran in 1995. He had researched actinium-225 for years before he came to the United States seeking weapons-grade uranium from which to extract the miracle isotope. However, actinium is a byproduct of uranium-233, which the United States produced for ORNL’s molten salt reactor experiment (MSRE) in the 1960s. Uranium-233 is not a natural element found in the crust of the earth like U-235, U-238 and Th-232 that are used as fuel in a nuclear reactor. So it had to be manufactured through quick fission activity in a reactor or wait for a lengthy decay chain process. The only problem is, we no longer have that early version of a molten salt reactor to produce U-233 in the thorium fuel cycle. There was a limited waste supply from the 1960’s in storage that Dr. Mirzadeh was able to work with.

The actinium-225 targeted therapy cancer treatment is in the second phase of its clinical trials on human subjects, but has not yet been approved by the FDA. After this phase, it has one more to go through before the FDA will determine if it can be released to the market. However, President Trump has signed the ‘Right to Try’ legislation so more people will be able to get access to the treatment and possible cure. New Mexico was one of ten states that did not have a state law for right to try. This new federal law now allows us here in New Mexico to also seek out experimental treatments.

This brings us full circle again on why the Holtec HI-STORE CISF is such an important project to be developed, and more importantly, developed here in New Mexico. Spent nuclear fuel consist of ~95% U-238 and U-235 mixed that can still be used as fuel in advance reactor designs and the other 5% consisting of a variety of useful isotopes that can be used for medical purposes. There is no trash in spent nuclear fuel, only unused isotope treasures.

There are two approaches that can be taken to insure that there will always be enough isotopes to provide the medical field what they will need for treatment programs and additional research projects. The first is to utilize the isotopes we have in left over nuclear fuels (i.e. waste or trash) that are in storage all over the US and second to manufacture more isotopes through the thorium fuel cycle creating the daughter isotopes of Uranium-233 in advance Thorium Molten Salt Reactors.

There is no waste in spent nuclear fuel, only wasted opportunities.


Yep, it is what it is: Boom or Bust

That is a response I got when I shared the dangers that come along with an oil boom to an oil man. I can imagine the outrage I would get if I approached nuclear waste with that kind of accepting attitude. Both the O&G and nuclear industries must be approached with a safety culture to insure the health of the community and environment. There are two federal agencies, EPA and NRC, which have oversight of those industries with rules and regulations to protect the industries and the public. Sometimes there may seem like there is too much oversight especially if is increases your cost of production. I have publically stated that I thought the nuclear industry was over-regulated.

Of course, everyone knows and understand that an oil boom is a great financial boost for the State of New Mexico in tax revenues that come with it. In fact, New Mexico is experiencing the greatest boom in oil production since it was first discovered back in 1869 and became a major producer during the 1920’s. In 2016, New Mexico produced 145 million barrels of oil, 1.27 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 97 billion cubic feet of naturally occurring carbon dioxide. In recent years the State of New Mexico derived more than 25% of its general fund revenues from taxes and royalties on oil, natural gas, and carbon dioxide production.

These taxes and royalties have contributed more than 90% of the principal in the Severance Tax and Land Grant Permanent Funds, the earnings on which are used to fund education and other state government operations. Other petroleum tax receipts are placed directly in the state’s general budget. In addition, more than ~11,000 citizens of this state are directly employed by the O&G industry. The O&G industry is a lynchpin of the state’s economy and is fiscally essential.

As soon as a well is drilled for oil or natural gas, the rate of production begins to decline. The annual New Mexico oil production peaked at 129 million bbls per year in 1969 and the recent upswing in oil production has been due to the adaptation of hydraulic fracturing methods to horizontal wells in unconventional deep basinal reservoirs in southern Eddy and southwestern Lea counties, i.e. the Permian Basin. The result of this activity was a new annual peak for oil production at 147 million bbls in 2015, 14% more than old production high in 1969, the previous oil boom.

All the above data and stats comes from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources which is a research and service division of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NM Tech). They are a non-regulatory agency that serves as the geological survey for the State of New Mexico. I felt this would be a good starting place for the best non-partisan resource about the O&G industry here in New Mexico. However, the web site is not reflective of the last 2.5 years where the boom has accelerated.

New Mexico hit record production in 2017, largely because of strong activity in the Permian Basin, according to the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. In citing Energy Information Administration data, New Mexico produced 172 million barrels of oil, another 17% increase topping the previous record of 147 million barrels in 2015, keeping New Mexico as the third-largest oil-producing state.

It is this acceleration that should be a concern to the industries safety culture. Many times the greed of such a tremendous opportunity will come with a few safety shortcuts and oversights. That is the danger that needs to be managed closer than it currently is according to recent articles coming out of the Carlsbad and Hobbs newsprint and a few industry watchdogs. It appears that the infrastructure in New Mexico (and Texas) is not able to handle the volume that is being produced, from the pump jacks clear down to the Gulf of Mexico. Solution: the new EPIC natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline. EPIC is also developing a crude oil pipeline, which will run next to the NGL pipeline for most of the 850 mile route to a fractionator in South Texas.

I find it interesting that the O&G industry has the same problem as the nuclear industry. The nuclear infrastructure is also lacking because they never completed their close loop nuclear fuel cycle and have accumulated large deposits of unused nuclear fuel that needs to be stored. Solution: an amendment known as the Continued Storage Rule in 2014 which states that SNF can be safely stored on the nuclear power plant site or an interim storage facility like HI-STORE CISF, indefinitely.

The game-changer of this ruling is it recognizes storing spent fuel for long periods in dry casks is incredibly safe and cheap. Dry casks completely contains all radiation, manages the heat and prevents nuclear fission. The casks resist earthquakes, projectiles, tornadoes, floods, temperature extremes and any other event we can think of, including tsunamis. And, the fuel is retrievable for advance fast molten salt reactors that will completely eliminate the SNF forever while generating revenue for the State.

When is enough, enough already? (Submitted, but not printed in the RDR)

On the fourth of July, my wife and I went over to the neighbors for our annual mimosa and muffin get together of mostly senior ladies from the book club, a few other neighbors and a few family members. I and one other husband were the only men in a rooms fills with sweet little older ladies, the oldest being 98 working on her century mark. I made the rounds saying hi to the ones I knew and introducing myself to the ones I didn’t know. The feedback I usually got back was either, I read your article in the paper this morning or ‘Oh! You’re Martin Kral’. Remember, this is the book club and they are readers.

After my wife and I left the gathering and return home across the street we immediately started a conversation about when am I going to stop talking and writing about nuclear this and nuclear that? She said, “I love how you are so passionate about the topic but there are other things going on in the world. You are a good writer so write about something else”. I may have paraphrase that a bit and toned it down but it’s close to what she said. Of course, I can’t leave that without a response so I said “Okay, I’ll write about my experience this morning at the get together”. In other words, gossip about nuclear.

The first person I chatted with was my 98 year old darling who grabbed my hand as I was passing by from getting my first mimosa. She told me she loves to read my articles and introduced me to her friend who said “So, what do you write about” as I pointed her to my t-shirt that had an aged radiation symbol on it. So that conversation centered on the benefits of radiation and how people seems to misunderstand it because of rumors we were taught from early childhood. Most of the ladies in the room and myself grew up in the 40’s and 50’s and the way things were then. It wasn’t all innocent like ‘Happy Days’. I ended that conversation inviting myself to someone 100th birthday party.

The best conversation I had on the topic of nuclear was with a feisty little lady who was not against nuclear energy but did not want anymore ‘trash’ brought into New Mexico. She was opposed to the Holtec project, expanding WIPP, and all the wind and solar farms. She knew her stuff. “Those energy farms are cluttering up our beautiful state and are causing the wind to shift and the temperature to rise. You don’t think those black panels retain a lot of heat?” was almost her exact comment. She didn’t quite have her science right but I really liked what she had to say starting with “I read your articles but I don’t agree with you”. We had a very respectful dialog (friendly debate) mostly about trashing New Mexico. This conversation happened as she was trying to leave and she kept turning back to say one more thing. Finally, she left and I will miss her.

My wife always tells me to be very careful what I say at these functions because this is a small town and you never know whose family tree someone belongs too. That is so true and I actually barked up the wrong trees a couple of times when I first got to Roswell back in 2005. I learned my lesson and that is why I focus on science and technology because I know it will not bite me back. Science is factual, but of course, everyone has their interpretation of those facts and that is where there is a debate about what would be good for New Mexico and what would be bad for New Mexico.

Poor New Mexico, and yes we are at the top of that list also, has its share of problems. But so do other states and they seem to stay off the top and bottom of every list developed by who knows who. New Mexico has a lot of natural resources but for some reason unknown to me, we just have not leveraged it in a way to boost our economy in the private sector. The federal government does have its claws on most of the state and I am not sure we could survive without them. We are the second most federally subsidies state in the Union and that is something that will not change overnight.

Although O&G is having a boom period right now, it has historically followed up with a bust period. What is the state doing to prepare for it? What are you personally doing to prepare for it? That is precisely why we need to diversify with other industries (without more tax credits) that provide a steading stream of revenue to the state for budgeting purposes. There are two technologies that I have studied that would be a natural fit for New Mexico: Nuclear fuel management and potable water desalination facilities. I also believe that both need the support of O&G. More on this in later articles.

Myths about Nuclear Radiation Dispelled:

As of 05:29 on 6/29/2018, there have been a total of 110 comments received by the NRC regarding the Holtec International HI-STORE Consolidated Interim Storage Facility Project proposed for Lea County New Mexico. I have read every single comment to understand what people are thinking about this project and the majority were opposed.

After removing easily half of those comments that were submitted based on a form letter I was able to understand the reasoning of those remaining ‘personal’ comments. Fortunately, for the project, every single one of those comments were based on historical myths about the dangers of radiation.

The risk of radiation is just like any other substance which is based on the amount and duration of exposure. A very relatable substance for most people to understand is alcohol. In moderation, say a glass of red wine every day is very good for most people but a bottle or two per day will have an adverse effect and over a long duration will break down your body and expose you to serious problems, if not kill you. The risk from anything is all about moderation. And the same is true for radiation.

My mother died at age 55 from throat cancer caused by her excessive smoking through the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. My wife’s mother also died at age 55 from pancreatic cancer caused by her excessive drinking and smoking. Now our mothers are together looking down on us and wondering – how in the world did that happened, referring to our final relationships after a few duds each. There are many elements in our life styles that have a high or higher risk of cancer. That doesn’t mean we will get it but there is always the potential.

When you know a substance has a higher risk of causing cancer, you have to properly manage your exposure to that risk. In order to know what that risk is, you have to educate yourself by talking to someone who has studied the subject or you have to read about it yourself. The problem here is people don’t take the time until it is too late. I didn’t know much about my heart until I needed to know. I didn’t know much about radiation until I needed to know. That is a normal response and it doesn’t mean we are stupid, but we are probably ignorant about the subject. That is most definitely the case with the general public’s misunderstanding of radiation.

The first and most important myth to resolve is that any level of radiation is bad for us. Radiation is an essential part of our existence. Without background radiation, life would not exist on this planet. Low dose radiation, under 100mSv per month is actually very healthy for the biological bodies; plants and animals. Low-to-medium dose (under 20,000mSv per month) is used to diagnose health issues and minor treatments and even higher doses (under 40,000mSv per month) are used to treat a cancerous situation like a tumor.

Let’s put nuclear radiation information into perspective (reference below).

  • There is no popular understanding of the simple dangers from radiation, e.g. it is not contagious like disease and does not “catch” fire. It is registered with the use of a dosimeter (Geiger counter).
  • In the 1950s, we were told that radiation caused many cancer deaths after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact, 99% of deaths were from blast and fire, not radiation (published data).
  • The nuclear arms race alarmed everybody. In response, the ICRP safety standard was changed (without evidence) from 70 mGy per month (1934) to 0.1 mGy per month (today) to appease public opinion.
  • Exciting fiction and media stories were built on fear of radiation. And we should believe the movies? There should be fear of an atomic bomb.
  • After Chernobyl many thousand deaths from radiation were expected, but the published count is 43. The same happened at Fukushima with zero deaths from radiation. In both accidents fear caused consequential death, mental illness, family break up and economic damage, locally and internationally.
  • TMI (Three Mile Island) here in the US was actually the very first nuclear power plant accident. The only harm from that incident was a movie call ‘China Syndrome’ which caused wide spread disinformation.

There are other myths and most recently I heard a number of whoopers in the comment section of the NRC review of the Holtec Environmental Impact Study. There is a lot of confusion about New Mexico being a ‘dumping ground’ for SNF. HI-STORE CISF is actually a temporary fuel depot much like O&G uses to store their fuel supplies. The fuel would be safely stored and eventually used for advanced fast nuclear reactors.

With the rapid expansion and chaos, the O&G ‘fracking’ industry has a greater risk of radiation exposure (unregulated TENORM) here in New Mexico than WIPP (transuranic) and URENCO (depleted uranium) because they are both NRC regulated to safely store their waste. I suspect we actually have the focus of safety on the wrong industry. Your assignment, if you care to know: Look up TENORM.

This article ref: Dr. Wade Allison, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Author of Radiation and Reason.

Reply to Perry Toles (in Roswell, NM)

Comment from Perry Toles regarding Holtec HI-STORE CISF:

“Liked your article in the paper today as well. I’m undecided About nuclear. Is the process/waste/fuel dangerous or not? Is it just heat? I’m very curious about the mini reactors and the fast reactors. Why don’t we Have them? Why do you think we will?  As an oil and gas producer, we take care of our own waste, wouldn’t ever think about shipping it elsewhere much less to a consolidated facility. Personal and local responsibility! Why should nuclear be any different?  Besides the local responsibility issue, I can’t argue against the idea that NM would benefit from the Holtec site. But at what cost and to whom? Will my property where the train shipments traverse benefit? Property is currently agriculture, but trying to develop it.  Even if the “fear of radiation” is irrational, we may be negatively affected.”
Replay from Martin Kral:
I will try to answer your questions/comments in the same order that you posted:
Point #1: Is nuclear process/waste/fuel dangerous? The answer to that has to be ‘yes’ and ‘no’. For me, that is like asking if ‘fire’ is dangerous or the process of drilling/fracking, transporting via truck/rail/pipeline and refining is a dangerous process. Of course it is.
If we go on the basis of how many people have died over the last fifty years in O&G and nuclear industries, I can quantitatively answer that. There has ‘never’ been a single death attributed to direct exposure from dangerous levels of radiation at a nuclear power plant or any transport of SNF between plants for storage. Not all NPP have enough space to store SNF, so the law allows a utility owner to transport it to another NPP they own that has more space. SNF is transported all over the east coast between plants today and have been for decades without incident.
If properly controlled, nuclear is the best thing that has ever happened for humanity. For the past 200 years, O&G energy was the best thing that happened and it is still #1 in my book today. However, nuclear energy is the future.
Point #2: Is it just heat? Yes, it is decay heat from element/ isotopes with very short half-life which means the isotopes are very active and creates a lot of heat as they transform to the next isotope in their decay chain. The longer the half-life duration the more stable the element is and less heat. In addition to heat, the isotopes gives off gamma rays (also alpha and beta, all rays are referred to as radiation) which are destructive to the biological system if it is not property shielded. It will either kill off a living cell or mutate it. Our immune system is designed to replace dead cells but not mutated ones. It is the mutated cells that are considered cancerous especially if they propagate though the body. Madame Currie discovered 100 years ago that radiation (from radium) could effectively kill the mutant cells and then the natural immune system would replace them.
Side note: The human body is not 100% perfect. We are actually born with cancer because our cells are constantly dying off and being replaced. There are many outside influences on that process that causes the cells to partially die off thus becoming mutant. I put smoking at the top of that list.
Point #3: Why don’t we have mini or fast reactors and will we ever? I have answered this several times in my weekly articles over the last five years and I will answer it again. The government shut the fast reactor development down. Why? Ronald Reagan answered that “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Several Administrations in both parties managed to make a huge mess of the nuclear industry over the last 60 years and they still are. The nuclear industry needs to go 100% private just like the O&G industry. As you said – they will take care of their own industry because there is money to be made.
There are two types of mini nuclear power plants: decay heat and fission heat. Both were developed at Los Alamos for NASA space flights. The Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or RTP based on Pu238 decay heat with 87 year half-life, are used on probes like Curiosity on Mars and other deep space flights. For longer missions and even ones with humans, there is a self-contain fission reactor known as Kilopower. Los Alamos recently tested that reactor at the Nevada Test Site. Neither are used in the commercial markets.
Idaho National Labs has the only fast reactor in the US for the last 30 years. Russia has commercial fast reactors and China is building them. The value of the fast reactor is ‘no waste stream’ and they operate at higher temperatures and are more useful for industrial heat for making steel, cement, etc. that coal is used for today. There are several private companies developing more advanced fast reactors based on molten salt.
Bill Gates has invested billions in Terrapower which is developing several different types of nuclear reactors. BTW, Gates had to go to China to develop his physical reactors because the NRC is to slow to respond. The first commercial molten salt reactor will probably come out of Canada. The US is committed to building an MSR at Idaho National Labs funded by Northwest Energy out of Washington State.
Point #4: “As an oil and gas producer, we take care of our own waste, wouldn’t ever think about shipping it elsewhere much less to a consolidated facility.” – So how is that done? How do you clean waste water from fracking? How do you store ‘technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material’ (Tenorm)? In oil and gas fracking production, radium-226, radium-228 and lead-210 are deposited as scale in pipes and equipment”. The field personnel should be wearing dosimeter like the WIPP employees do. I suspect there is more radiation exposure in O&G than nuclear but there is no way to determine because O&G is not regulated as tightly as nuclear. That is my opinion based on my knowledge of what the nuclear industry actually does to make sure health and environment are protected. O&G has no counter measure that I am aware of. I do know they have different standards which are less expensive to implement than nuclear.
Update to Point #4: SNF has exactly the same purpose as NG and oil. It is a fuel. NG is shipped to a central facility where it is distributed throughout to US via pipeline, rail or trucks and even converted to be shipped across the oceans.
But hey, what’s the point? Both industries need to have a safety culture and take care of their own issues with the public and government safety requirements.
Point #5: What about the trains? The trains carrying nuclear SNF are called ‘unit trains’. These trains have been crossing the country for decades from east coast and west coast to Idaho (INL). Their only cargo is the nuclear material stored in cask to protect from any possible incident. Each train is highly secured like it were a load of gold. The trains are given track priority and actually have certain speed requirement. Though Roswell, that speed would probably be under 5 MPH. In the country by your farm, the trains might get up to 50 MPH. Anyway, that is what Sandia Labs tested in a 15,000 mile trip from Spain to Colorado using truck, barge, ship and train.
Point #6: Property values? WIPP did not lower property values in Roswell, Artesia, and Carlsbad with truck transports of transuranic waste. In fact, most people have no idea the trucks even go through Roswell. It will be the same for the trains as well. Most likely, they will pass at night. I would not invest in residential near any railroad track. Commercial development could benefit from the track availability if needed.
I am sure you will develop a few more questions. I have studied this stuff for 10 years and I still come up with questions for my resources.

A permanent solution for a temporary problem:

In my wife’s last article she talk about a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I thought about this statement and was able to relate it to the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) issue that is perplexing the common senses of politicians in this state. It is also a statement that addresses the fossil fuel industry as well. Nuclear waste and fossil fuel pollution are temporary problems. Problems are good, because they force the creativity of finding a workable solution, not necessarily a permanent solution.

To de-carbonize or de-nuclearize the commercial markets would be considered a permanent solution, which is the foolish notion by environmentalist, including the consensus of some individual scientist. If we can all agree that excessive CO2 increases are caused by man’s use of fossil fuels, then the solution needs to be address with man’s technology, not throw hundreds of years of an evolutionary lifestyle under the electric bus. The nuclear industry is just getting started with only a 70 year history. Both industries have plenty of opportunity to advance their technologies to solve the temporary issues that are most concerning.

Today, there is this trilateral battle developing from an ‘all of the above’ energy solution to just inclusive versus exclusive choices between the anti-nuclear, anti-fossil and the anti-renewable camps. Right here in New Mexico we have candidates running for Governor and U.S. Senate that are inclusive of wind, solar and geothermal and partially exclusion of fossil fuels and completely exclusive of nuclear energy. Recently the US Forest Service excluded geothermal drilling in New Mexico.

Wind and solar are not going to be able to service New Mexico, day and night, every day of the year. Natural gas is needed to back up wind and solar farms and small modular nuclear reactors should be considered to replace those wind and solar farms with base load electricity. Solar will always have its place where remote or isolated electricity is needed and not serviced by the national grid.

The nuclear industry started in New Mexico and to this day we do not have a single commercial nuclear power plant. There are several reactors at the National Labs for research and testing purposes. Since the 1950’s it has always been thought that nuclear waste needed to be stored for thousands of years and some environmentalist have even stated millions of years. This is absolutely absurd and incorrect but has become part of the myth behind nuclear technology. As a result, New Mexico has an unnecessary multi-billion dollar facility used to store transuranic (TRU) waste left over from nuclear weapons research and testing operations from our past defense activities.

The WIPP facility includes disposal rooms mined 2,150 feet underground in 2,000 square foot thick salt to store TRU waste that consists of clothing, tools, rags, residues, debris, soil and other items contaminated with traces of radioactive isotopes, mostly plutonium (Pu). Pu-239 has a half-life of 24,100 years making it a very stable isotope to manage and Pu-241 has a half-life of 14.4 years making it a very reactive isotope that must be isolated for several half-life period until it is stable. All man-made isotopes (via fission) have atomic numbers greater than uranium, thus trans-uranic, or beyond uranium on the Periodic Table of Elements.

Sound environmental practices and strict regulations require such wastes to be isolated to protect human health and the environment. This can also be done under 40 feet of clay and concrete at the WCS facility for a mere million versus billion dollar investment. Disposal operations at the WCS byproduct facility occur completely below a thick layer of red-bed clay and concrete. This red-bed clay in West Texas is across thousands of miles and is a very thick (>1000 feet) massive clay and sandstone/siltstone formation. Clay is the second best storage standard to salt formations for permanent storage of radioactive waste.

But wait, Congress also decides to spend another multi-billion dollars on a tunnel network in the center of Yucca Mountain in Nevada. This project has been started and stopped every time there is an Administration change in D.C. This Yucca Mountain project has still not been completed or licensed and all indications are that it won’t be. The State of Nevada has never wanted the permanent site but was willing to have an interim site until a permanent site can be established somewhere else (NIMBY). Here is what is most important to understand about SNF. It is not waste and does not need to be permanently stored. It is fuel for the newer advance reactor technology that will consume it (burn up) and therefore has to be retrievable.

This is why the Holtec HI-STORE CISF is an important proposal for the State of New Mexico. SNF has been in dry storage for 30 years now and it will continue to be for another couple hundred years. There is no need to have a permanent solution for SNF because we already have safe and secure temporary storage technology today. A central consolidated facility would save billions of dollars in redundant storage around the country and provide New Mexico with much needed tax revenue.