US regulators have approved a nuclear dump in Texas, despite objections from local authorities, Bloomberg reports.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has licensed Orano and its radioactive waste management partner, Waste Control Specialists, to set up a repository in the heart of the Perm oil and gas basin. Their joint venture, Interim Storage Partners, plans to set up a repository and transport nuclear waste from across the country by rail and seal it in concrete drums to be stored above ground.
However, the authorities in the US state oppose this decision, because they fear that a possible leak could infect a region that produces millions of barrels of oil a day. Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is trying to block progress on the project. The company said in a statement that the project meets all environmental, health and safety requirements and does not harm residents and industries in the vicinity of the repository.
At the moment, there are tons of nuclear waste throughout the country without a permanent disposal site, some are stored at two nuclear power plants in Texas. Waste can remain radioactive for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years.
The US is actively trying to switch to renewable energy sources. However, they do not want to abandon the nuclear power plant, despite the problem with waste disposal. Nuclear power plants generate large amounts of energy with minimal emissions. Some of the existing nuclear power plants need to be supported if the US targets to decarbonize the grid by 2035, according to Climate Advisor to President Joe Biden, Regina McCarthy. In the state of Illinois, the authorities passed a bill according to which two local nuclear power plants should be provided with benefits in the amount of $ 700 million.