Residents of Eunice Concerned With Plan to Store High-Level Radioactive Waste in Andrews

Residents of Eunice Concerned With Plan to Store High-Level Radioactive Waste in Andrews

Zora Asberry

NewsWest 9

EUNICE - Waste Control Specialists (WCS) is looking to store high-level nuclear waste in Andrews County. On December ninth, WCS in conjunction with Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, hosted a meeting to present the plan before the Eunice City Council and over 40 city residents in attendance.

Some residents are voicing their concern with bringing high-level radioactive waste to the area but officials say it will pose no danger.

Andrews is currently used as an interim and disposal site to store and dispose of low-level radioactive waste but some residents are opposed to bringing high-level waste to the area because of the potential dangers that could result from this.

"These spent fuels are very highly radioactive even though WCS tries to play down the radioactivity. It is very high compared to the low-level that is already at the site. I'm very concerned to have high level radioactivity just five minutes out of town. Even if they consider it to be in Andrews County, it's not, it's just five minutes outside of my town," Eunice resident, Rose Gardner, said.

Waste Control Specialists and the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance are saying that these high-level waste interim storage facilities will not pose a threat to the residents of Andrews, Eddy or Lea County. However, locals in the area are still skeptical of this proposal.

Chuck McDonald of the Waste Control Specialists says, "It's an extremely safe process, currently spent fuel is being stored in probably close to a hundred countries. We're talking about waste that will be in sealed containers and remain at the Andrew County location for 60- 80 years into the future while the federal government continues to seek a long term solution for spent nuclear fuel."

Gardner opposes McDonald's statement by saying, "The way the government works, once those deadlines are met, they will extend them. I won't be alive in 50 years but I bet that stuff will still be there, and then our babies, and their babies will have to deal with it because we let it come here."

WCS hopes to host another meeting in the near future to hear any questions and concerns from the residents of Eunice on this potentially dangerous issue. Officials say that if majority population opposes to the WCS storing high-level nuclear waste, they will not proceed and will find another alternative. For more information regarding the WCS and their future plans to store high-level nuclear waste near the Texas-New Mexico border, you can visit their website at