(railcars loaded with MOUND COLD WAR NUCLEAR AFTER-BIRTH headed to Texas)
Company advances on plan for West Texas nuclear dump Construction contract awarded despite suit asking project be stopped By JANET ELLIOTT Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau Aug. 5, 2008, 11:23PM
AUSTIN — Waste Control Specialists is moving ahead with construction of a radioactive waste dump in Andrews County in West Texas, despite a pending lawsuit challenging the project.
The Dallas company said Tuesday it has awarded a three-year $80 million contract to URS, a San Francisco-based engineering and construction firm.
The contract includes the addition of a railroad loop and facilities for unloading hazardous waste from rail cars, as well as construction of two adjacent landfills for different categories of radioactive waste.
1 of 2 applications OK'd State environmental regulators in May granted Waste Control a license to dispose of byproduct material, including waste from nuclear weapons processing and uranium mining. The company has a second application pending for "low-level" waste, which would allow the disposal of a higher level of radioactive material, including waste from nuclear power plants.
Waste Control President Rodney Baltzer said construction would begin immediately on the rail facilities and byproducts landfill. No work will be done on the low-level site until the company receives a license.
Baltzer said in a news release that URS has been involved in the licensing process and is familiar with the site.
"URS used that knowledge in a competitive bidding process to provide the best value for WCS," he said.
Waste Control is owned by Harold Simmons, a major donor to Gov. Rick Perry and other state politicians.
Risk to water questioned The Sierra Club filed a lawsuit last month in Travis County to overturn the byproducts disposal license. The environmental group went to court after the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality denied its request for a contested hearing on the project.
"It's a concern that they're moving forward," said Cyrus Reed, a lobbyist for the Sierra Club. "We think the underlying geology has not been adequately studied and, therefore, confirmed as being safe for the disposal of this type of waste."
The site is controversial because of its location near underground water.
A team of geologists and engineers who reviewed the location for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality concluded last year that the low-level waste disposal license should be denied. They said one water table may be closer than 14 feet, making it "highly likely" that water could seep into the dump as annual rainfall increases because of climate change. Both landfills would be on 1,300 acres WCS owns near the Texas-New Mexico border. Baltzer said the site has been extensively tested to ensure the material can be contained safely.
"The landfills will have similar designs, with disposal in the site's almost impenetrable red bed claystones," he said.
Among the materials to be buried are 3,776 steel containers of waste from an Ohio facility that processed uranium for Cold War-era nuclear weapons.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
TEXAS WINS TO BE NEXT BIG DUMPING GROUND FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS RADIOACTIVE WASTE
(see more photo's of railcars loaded with MOUND COLD WAR NUCLEAR AFTER-BIRTH headed to Texas)
Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. Box 42 Bacliff, Texas USA 77518