Maybe instead of fear-mongering about storing the high rad waste Beyond Nuclear should educate themselves about advances that have been made it the Nuclear World. Alternative energies are good (solar power, wind power, wave power, poo/waste power) and they should be used to start reducing our carbon footprint. But the reality of alternative powers is that they do not offer enough, steady, or reliable sources of energy. What exactly do groups like Beyond Nuclear offer to replace the decommissioned coal power plants?
Like every other waste, high rad waste can be recycled. In the 2012 Argonne National Lab article Nuclear Fuel Recycling Could Offer Plentiful Energy we are presented with the solution to the Rad Waste Problem. (https://www.anl.gov/article/nuclear-fuel-recycling-could-offer-plentiful-energy) The Argonne article is pre-dated by a 2007 article in the Heritage Foundation, Recycling Nuclear Fuel: The French Do It, Why Can’t Oui? (https://www.heritage.org/environment/commentary/recycling-nuclear-fuel-the-french-do-it-why-cant-oui) In fact recycling nuclear fuel has been demonstrated as a reliable way to maintain power production, and treat high rad waste. The reality of the situation is that high rad waste is not a problem at all. IF New Mexico built Rad Waste recycling plants then this could be a profitable domestic product for Light Water Reactors (LWR). New Mexico can sell the recycled nuclear fuel back to nuclear power plants. This means that the decommissioning of nuclear power plants could stop, and the clean energy produced by these plants would reduce the carbon footprint. We could then replace decommissioned nuclear power plants, and decommissioned coal power plants (San Juan Generating Station) with Molten Salt Reactors (MSR’s) as discussed by Martin Kral in his editorial What About the Nuclear Waste? (https://losalamosreporter.com/2019/12/02/what-about-the-nuclear-waste/)
There is nothing to fear, education is the key. This creates jobs to replace the ones disappearing at the old coal power plants, and coal mines. If we are to move away from our dependency on fossil fuels, then New Mexico should evolve into the future by embracing our past. Radiation isn’t scary, lack of public education programs about radiation, and fear-mongering is effectively hamstringing power production progress.
We (New Mexico) should accept the waste.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle