Nuclear Power Company Has its Eye on Lea County

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

HOBBS, NEW MEXICO--The old taboos about nuclear power are starting to fade away.   So much so, that one Southeast New Mexico city is happy they're on the list, to be considered as the site of a manufacturing plant for nuclear power reactors.

According to Lisa Hardison, Sr. Vice President of the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County, "It's a really wonderful concept.  It could help communities, it could help families in rural areas be able to generate power for their homes."

Hardison has no reservations what-so-ever, about a new nuclear power plant coming to Hobbs. In fact, she hopes it does, "We feel comfortable with it and certainly we are a community and a people that understands it and have studied it and feel safe that our families will be around that type of energy production."

Hobbs is one of two known sites being considered to be the home of a manufacaturing plant owned by Santa Fe based Hyperion Power Generation.   "It's a manufacturing company that manufactures small nuclear devices that are about the size of a hot tub that actually provide power to about 20,000 homes, for a period of 5-10 years," Hardison explained.

Hardison explains why Hobbs and Lea County are the perfect choice, "I think we are a business friendly community and a business friendly state that offers great incentives for businesses, especially manufacturing, to come into our areas."

The geography and the weather don't hurt, "Us, having mild climate, allows for them to not worry about hurricanes or tornadoes or other things that could be a problem, that could cause issues in other parts of the country."

And there's the long term benefits, "Having a community that understands the nuclear industry, makes it attractive to others that might want to come to our area," Hardison added.

Hardison, like many, thinks, as the Nation moves forward,  nuclear power could help solve some of the energy crisis, "We hope, here in Lea County, to be at the heart of that solution."