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State of Texas sues NRC over approval of high-level nuclear waste storage in Andrews

The state previously passed House Bill 7, which bans the storage of high-level nuclear waste in the state.

ANDREWS, Texas —

The state of Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday. 

The lawsuit petitions the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to review and vacate a license that allows for the construction and operation of an interim storage facility for high-level nuclear waste in Andrews. 

The license, issued on Sept. 13, allows for a facility that would permit Interim Storage Partners to receive, possess, transfer and store up to 5,000 metric tons of spent fuel and 231.3 metric tons of Greater-Than-Class C low-level radioactive waste for 40 years.

This storage would take place on property at the Waste Control Specialists low-level radioactive waste disposal site already functioning in Andrews.

House Bill 7, which bans the storage of high-level nuclear waste in Texas, was previously signed into law by Gov. Abbott. The bill was filed by State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa).

However, due to the NRC being a federal agency, it was able to override the state’s decision.