Oil and gas producers fight plan for nuke waste to be stored in heavily drilled and frac’d Permian Basin. Humans have lost the plot; even health and water-destroying frac’ers are finding out what it’s like to be invaded by humanity’s greed-driven deadly waste.

The War Over Burying Nuclear Waste in America’s Busiest Oil Field, Plans to store used nuclear fuel in the Permian Basin could boost the nuclear sector but are opposed by oil-and-gas producers by Benoît Morenne, FEb 18, 2024, Wall Street Journal, MSN

Companies have proposed at least two projects to rail nuclear waste to storage facilities in New Mexico and West Texas

LEA COUNTY, N.M.—From behind the wheel of his Jeep, Tommy Taylor surveyed the
windswept patch of land he is intent on keeping oil country.

Taylor, the assistant general manager at closely held oil producer Fasken Oil and Ranch,
has been fighting plans to shuttle radioactive refuse from nuclear power plants around the U.S. and temporarily park it here in the Permian Basin, the nation’s busiest oil field.

Holtec International, a Florida-based energy technology company, aims to rail thousands of
canisters of spent nuclear fuel to Lea County and store the containers below ground. The
site has a 40-year license and could ultimately hold around 170,000 metric tons of used fuel
—about twice as much as the U.S. currently holds. It would be the largest such facility in
the world, and Holtec says it would further the development of U.S. nuclear energy.

Taylor said a nuclear incident in the Permian, which cranks out more oil than Iraq and Libya combined, would have devastating consequences for U.S. energy and the local economy.

“I’m not antinuclear,” Taylor said. “We just don’t feel like siting all the nuclear waste in the middle of our biggest oil and gas resource is a good idea.”Ya, and I don’t think it’s a good idea for companies to illegally frac community drinking water aquifers in secret, like Encana/Ovintiv did in Alberta and Wyoming, and companies did in California. But you oil and gas producers don’t give a fuck about the water you destroy, the damaging frac quakes you greedily cause, the workers and neighbours you kill with your toxic frac shit, or the wildlife and fish you harm, or, that you are destroying earth’s livability for humans and most other species.

Fasken said the nuclear-waste storage sites threaten its operations in the Permian.

The yearslong fight has entangled large oil companies, the country’s top nuclear regulator,
the states of Texas and New Mexico, as well as local communities that want to host the
nuclear waste.
Are fucking mad?

Fasken has initiated legal challenges to the federal approval of the project and another one in West Texas. It has lobbied big-oil chief executives and high-ranking Republicans. The centenarian company even hired a high-school student to help manage a social-media campaign.

Ed Mayer, program director at Holtec, said its proposed site poses no danger to
communities or the oil-and-gas industry. “We don’t affect oil-and-gas operations, and
under no situation would we affect them.”Pfffft. Not believable.

Supporters of the nuclear-waste projects say they could help break a decades-old nuclear
waste logjam that has led to radioactive refuse piling up at reactors. President Biden and
billionaire investors are endorsing new nuclear projects to reduce greenhouse-gas
emissions, but the U.S. has yet to figure out where to permanently unload some of the most hazardous material in the world.

“The U.S. has to gird its loins and actually deal with the problem of what they’re going to do
with this material in the long run,” said Allison Macfarlane, a former chairman of the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Meanwhile, some Permian communities gearing up for a future where fossil-fuel extraction peters out are pushing to host the radioactive dregs.

The Permian is home to two sites that handle some types of nuclear waste and to the only
commercial uranium-enrichment facility in the country.

Holtec’s storage would be temporary, and some nuclear experts say interim facilities can be
a stopgap until the federal government builds a permanent, deep geologic repository. A
plan to house nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain fizzled under former President
Barack Obama, and the search for an alternative site has stalled. The USA is too busy with its horrific enabling of Israel’s genocide in Palestine and its war on women, killing women’s rights and forcing girls and women into being baby incubators whether a raped child or adult (who does not want kids given how toxic and over-populated therworld is or how impossible it is for many families to feed even one kid given the exploding greed of the rich) to feed the billion dollar profit-raping adoption industry. Pathetic. As a result, the federal government is paying utilities billions of dollars to keep used fuel rods in steel-lined concrete pools and dry casks at dozens of sites.

Consolidating used nuclear fuel at one or two facilities would lessen that financial burden
and make monitoring the waste easier, the experts say.

Fasken said the sites threaten its operations near the proposed facilities. Since its 1913
founding by Canadian lawyer-turned-rancher David Fasken, the Midland-based company
has amassed more than 160,000 acres of land in the Permian. It grazes cattle and produces
about 40,000 barrels of oil a day.

Taylor, a trustee for the Fasken heirs, said he is concerned about terrorist attacks, the
derailment of a waste-carrying train and radioactive contamination, among other risks.
“I drilled four wells here,” he said, nodding in the direction of the sagebrush that surrounds
Holtec’s proposed site.

Exxon Mobil and EOG Resources have also publicly expressed concerns about the Holtec
facility interfering with their drilling.

A spokesman for Holtec said that the project takes into account all aspects in the
surrounding areas related to environmental concerns and that it had received a license
after an extensive regulated process.Again, not believable, and getting a licence in North America these days means nothing. A bribe here, a bribe there, a wink and a nudge, bingo, licence is in the mail!

In trying to block the projects, Taylor and his team have lobbied GOP Senate leader Mitch
McConnell and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Social-media accounts for two
opposition groups, which Fasken helped create, churn out posts opposed to the projects.
Fasken has allied with local ranchers such as Daniel Berry, who owns property near the
proposed Holtec site. Berry said he is concerned radioactive contamination could devastate
his cattle business.

“If it’s so safe, leave it where it is,” he said of nuclear waste.

The Holtec project faces other hurdles. New Mexico last year passed legislation all but
banning storage of high-level nuclear waste. Texas lawmakers have also opposed interim storage facilities.

The Holtec spokesman said the company was evaluating the legislation’s impact on the
project. Fasken expects the fight over interim storage will eventually reach the Supreme

Some community leaders in southeastern New Mexico have pushed to build the Holtec site,
including in Eddy and Lea counties, which together produce about 1.7 million barrels of oil
a day. Jack Volpato, chairman of the Carlsbad Nuclear Task Force, said the area has to plan
for a future where oil and gas extraction provides fewer jobs.

Holtec said the project represents a $3 billion investment that will create 400 jobs.

“We think nuclear energy and managing nuclear products is the way of the future,” Volpato
said.That’s what the water destroying frac’ers say too.

Refer also to:

2024: Art Berman: Overshoot (humans using natural resources and polluting at rates beyond earth’s capacity to recover) and the planetary predicament. His solution: “Radically reduce the consumption of all energy–fossil energy, renewable energy, nuclear energy–all energy.”

2021: Conservative Premiers squirting us with Radioactive Lemons (Unsafe nuclear reactors with innocent new name, Small Modular Reactors)

2019: Reverse Fracking: The Ultimate in Frac Greed, Idiocy & Irresponsibility? Richard & Elizabeth Muller’s “Deep Isolation” seeks funding to frac communities with nuclear waste

Storing nuclear waste well into the future is one of America’s most vexing energy problems. But the father-daughter team of Richard and Elizabeth Muller have an answer: reverse fracking. Their startup, Deep Isolation, would use hydraulic fracturing to bury radioactive waste in horizontal tunnels through shale a mile underground.

Now they have to convince communities to allow deep dumps in their backyards, persuade investors to cough up an initial $10 million and get the government to permit the technique.

Meanwhile, 2,000 more tons of hot U.S. waste pile up each year.

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