It’s taken ten years to approve and build, resulted in three resignations from the state’s environmental agency, and is the subject of an alleged cover-up. It’s the new radioactive waste dump in rural Andrews County, not far from the New Mexico border. Today StateImpact Texas intern David Barer has an in-depth report for Reporting Texas on what level of waste will be disposed of at the site, and more on some of the safety concerns surrounding it.
Barer speaks with a spokesman for the company behind the project, who tells him that “the waste will be encapsulated in reinforced concrete casks and buried in pits hundreds of feet deep in red bed clay, an almost impermeable material.” The company adds that “the entire storage area will be encased with a concrete-reinforced liner.”
But Barer also talks to an environmental group who has come to a very different conclusion:
Karen Hadden, executive director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition (SEED), an environmental group, believes the chance of a leak or contamination remains high.
She said that the six other low-level radioactive waste sites — including three active sites in Clive, Utah; Richland, Wash.; and Barnwell, S.C. — all have had leaks.