Richardson: No nuke waste in New Mexico

Dec. 1, 2004 at 2:23 PM

SANTA FE, N.M., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is blocking a new uranium-enrichment facility in his state until the government guarantees nuclear waste won't remain there.

"Senator (Pete) Domenici had good intentions, but the language is inadequate and doesn't fix the problem," Richardson said, referring to the senator from New Mexico's proposal, now awaiting presidential approval, for the U.S. Department of Energy to take possession of radioactive waste at existing storage facilities, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

"What I am seeking is either very strong language in the license that precludes the waste being stored in New Mexico or very strong language in an appropriations bill next year," Richardson told the New Mexican.

The Louisiana Energy Services Co. plans to build a uranium-enrichment plant near the southeastern New Mexico city of Hobbs, but it must obtain a groundwater-discharge permit from the state before starting operations.

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