Morning Briefing - December 09, 2021
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December 08, 2021

First Briefs in NM Suit Against Texas Interim Storage Due Early 2022

By ExchangeMonitor

The state of New Mexico will need to file its first supporting arguments early next year in its legal challenge to a recently-licensed interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in Texas, according to new court filings.

State attorney general Hector Balderas has until Jan. 18 to file the next brief in his lawsuit against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over Interim Storage Partners’ (ISP) proposed site, according to a Tuesday order from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Balderas, who filed suit against NRC in November, has taken aim at the agency’s environmental review of the ISP site, arguing that the survey “satisfied neither statutory nor regulatory requirements.”

Waste Control Specialists (WCS) and Orano USA joint venture ISP plans to build its interim storage site at WCS’s existing waste facility in Andrews County, Texas — which shares a western border with New Mexico.

Meanwhile, NRC is planning to ask the Tenth Circuit to toss Balderas’s case. A judge approved Nov. 23 the agency’s request to extend its time to file that motion to Dec. 20.

This new court movement arrives as New Mexico continues its two-front war on commercial interim storage. Balderas is also engaged with NRC in the U.S. District Court for New Mexico, where he is challenging a separate site proposed by Holtec International for Eddy County, N.M. NRC has also asked a judge to dismiss that case, citing lack of jurisdiction.

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