Texas Gov. Perry Offers Strong Support for Local Radioactive Waste Storage

Texas Gov. Perry Offers Strong Support for Local Radioactive Waste Storage

Texas Governor Rick Perry recently penned a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus citing a report from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality–asserting that the state should establish a location for storing high-level radioactive waste (HLW) produced by Texas’ four commercial nuclear reactors.

Until a national location is provided, Perry said Texas should store its own HLW at a single location.

Perry wrote, “The citizens of Texas — and every other state currently storing radioactive waste — have been betrayed by their federal government after contributing billions of dollars to fund a federal solution to HLW waste, because a federal solution still does not exist.”

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 promised to provide states with a federal location to store HLW, which was determined to be at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Almost 30 years later, after pouring $15 billion into the location, President Obama abandoned the initiative. Perry pointed out that Texas’ contribution to Yucca Mountain was $700 million. 

Perry added, “Early in 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it was developing a new plan to replace Yucca Mountain–estimating that an HLW disposal solution would not be available until 2048… 2048, or whatever year Washington forecasts a solution that will be provided, is too long to wait.” 

A spokesman from Rick Perry’s office told Breitbart Texas, “In the absence of federal action on this important issue, Gov. Perry is pointing out that Texas will face challenges and wants to make sure legislators, regulators and stakeholders have all the facts and information necessary to begin looking for a safe and secure solution.”

At this time it is unclear where a HLW storage site would end up in the state, but according to My San Antonio, Perry said several “local communities are actively pursuing that possibility.”

Perry concluded, “We have no choice but to begin looking for a safe and secure solution” for high-level waste in Texas.”

However strong Governor Perry’s stance may be, the decision to instate a Texas-based HLW storage site is ultimately at the discretion of the state legislature.

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate