House District 43 Rep. Christine Chandler. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Rep. Christine Chandler will participate on the panel for an informational forum Wednesday, June 19 on nuclear waste in New Mexico hosted by the Santa Fe Democratic Party Platform and Resolutions Committee.
The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Center for Progress and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe and will focus on the Waste Isolation Pilot Project in Carlsbad and a proposed interim high-level nuclear waste storage to be located between Hobbs and Carlsbad.
Chandler said Monday her goal for the forum is to have a fair and balanced discussion about the state’s role in setting the parameters around the proposed Holtec project and whether or not the state should have a strong voice in vetoing the project if can’t be shown to be safe and in the interest in the state.
The forum panel is expected to discuss a proposal by the Department of Energy to change how nuclear waste is classified and the possible effects of those changes on waste to be accepted at WIPP.
Chandler toured WIPP underground facilities last week as well as Urenco USA uranium enrichment site near at Eunice with fellow members of the National Conference of State Legislators Nuclear Legislative Working Group to which she was appointed House Speaker Brian Egolf.
Other members of the panel are: State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard; Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Program at the Southwest Research and Information Center; and Sally Rodgers, former environment policy advisor for Governors Toney Anaya and Bill Richardson.
Moderator for the event is Cheryl Rofer, a chemist who retired in 2001 from Los Alamos National Laboratory following a 35-year career in which she worked on projects dealing with environmental cleanup at Los Alamos and in Estonia and Kazakhstan; disassembly and decommissioning of nuclear weapons; and chemical weapons destruction.