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Nuclear waste solution in the Land of Enchantment?



I’ve always love the state flag of New Mexico.  Simple, understated, beautiful.  No seal.  No people. No tress, plants,or coat of arms.  A beautiful design for what is a beautiful state.  Well, the beautiful state of New Mexico is being considered as a site for our nuclear waste repository.  As this New York Time article reviews, the salt caverns near Carlsbad might be great place to store the waste from our nuclear power plants for millions of years.  It is already storing some nuclear material from our weapons systems.

Why do we care in Illinois?  Since we are the number one nuclear state in the country, we have the most nuclear waste of any state in the country.  It is safely stored on-site in pools or dry cask storage but that’s not a long-term solution.  Yucca Mountain was supposed to be the long-term solution until Harry Reid channeled the anger of some Nevadans who don’t want the stuff 100 miles from Vegas.    Perhaps if we offered the wonderful people of New Mexico revenue from a “tipping fee” for storing our nuclear waste (similar to counties that benefit from hosting landfills), they might be open to storing radioactive material under their state.

It seems fitting that we’re thinking about bringing nuclear waste to New Mexico as that state hosted the first explosion of an atomic bomb in 1945.  It’s the answer to the tricky trivia question: “In what country did the first nuclear bomb explode?”  The answer is the U.S. even though most people would say Japan.

But I digress.  I’m glad people are looking at all options for this issue.  It’s one we have to resolve.  If the beautiful state of New Mexico wants to be part of the solution, I’m all for it!





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