Oct 20, 2020

West Texas nuclear waste plan prompts fears of radioactive trains in Fort Worth

A plan to transport 5,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste from across the country to sites on the Texas-New Mexico border poses a particular danger to Fort Worth, a group of environmental activists opposed to the plan said Thursday.

The destination for much of the nuclear waste is Andrews County, where Waste Control Specialists already operates a toxic waste site. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering a similar plan from nuclear company Holtec for a high-level waste storage facility in southeastern New Mexico. While the nuclear waste is concerning for residents of West Texas and eastern New Mexico, Fort Worth residents should also be worried, said Lon Burnam, a former state representative and the chair of the Tarrant Coalition for Environmental Awareness.

With today's rail traffic, Burnam said trains hauling the nuclear waste may have to stop overnight in Metroplex rail yards like the massive Union Pacific Davidson Yard south of the Cultural District.

"These canisters can sit here and leak radiation without anyone knowing," Burnam said.

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