February 1, 2018

New ownership could revive Texas waste plan

Waste Control Specialists LLC, after months in corporate limbo, may look at restarting its push to store high-level radioactive waste in West Texas.

That’s because an investment affiliate of J.F. Lehman & Co. recently acquired WCS, ending the company’s hazy status under Valhi Inc.

WCS asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last year to suspend — temporarily — the review of its high-level waste proposal, citing the cost and its limited financial resources. The company was waiting to see if a deal to sell WCS to EnergySolutions, a well-known industry player, would close. The transaction fizzled after a judge blocked it.

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January 26, 2018

WCS is bought by private equity firm

Waste Control Specialists, which operates a low-level radioactive waste storage facility in Andrews, has been sold, according to a company press release.

WCS was sold by Valhi Inc. to J.F. Lehman & Co., a middle-market private equity firm focused on the government, defense, aerospace and maritime sectors.

WCS lost an antitrust lawsuit in June after the U.S. District Court of Delaware ruled in favor of the Justice Department against a merger with EnergySolutions, a Utah-based company that specializes in decommissioning nuclear power plants.

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South Texas Project
September 29, 2017

Trumpf administration renews license of South Texas nuclear plant

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has renewed the license for the South Texas Project. The nuclear power plant provides electricity to San Antonio, Austin and many other area communities.

In an order issued on Thursday, the NRC approved the South Texas Project to remain in operation for an additional 20 years.

Located just outside of Bay City and managed by the STP Nuclear Operating Co., the nuclear power plant is owned by Houston-based NRG Energy, San Antonio-based CPS Energy and Austin-based Austin Energy.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

As Historic Flooding Grips Texas, Groups Demand Nuclear Plant Be Shut Down

STP Nuclear Plant

As record-breaking rainfall and unprecedented flooding continue to batter the greater Houston area and along the Gulf coast on Tuesday, energy watchdogs groups are warning of "a credible threat of a severe accident" at two nuclear reactors still operating at full capacity in nearby Bay City, Texas.

Three groups—Beyond Nuclear, South Texas Association for Responsible Energy, and the SEED Coalition—are calling for the immediate shutdown of the South Texas Project (STP) which sits behind an embankment they say could be overwhelmed by the raging flood waters and torrential rains caused by Hurricane Harvey.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Power outages add to woes in water-soaked Texas

HOUSTON — As rain continues in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey, Texas is coping with a significant loss of electricity, even if the current outage numbers in and around America’s fourth largest city aren’t as large as might be expected.

And people in areas with heavy damage face the prospect of a power restoration process that could last weeks or longer.

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Feb 10, 2017

Debate held on bringing high-level radioactive waste to west Texas

ANDREWS — Could your backyard be the new home to a nuclear waste site? Andrews is waiting to be licensed as a temporary holding site for radioactive waste.

Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of the Public Citizen’s Texas office spoke to the concerns of bringing a high-level radioactive site in west Texas in a meeting Thursday.

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February 9, 2017

Public Citizen: Andrews nuke waste site an open target for terrorism

A recent letter from Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway about the proposed high-level nuclear waste storage site in Andrews has prompted Midland County Democrats to act in hopes of a better solution, and they’re reaching out for help.

The Midland County Democratic Party held a press conference at the DoubleTree hotel Thursday and brought with them activist heavyweights Tom "Smitty" Smith, longtime director of Public Citizen Texas, and Karen Hadden, president of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition, better known as SEED.

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February 3, 2017

Plan to bring high-level nuclear waste to West Texas gains steam

Federal regulators will begin a series of public meetings this month after formally accepting Waste Control Specialists‘ application last week to begin storing spent nuclear fuel at a dump in Andrews County.

The approval was expected — WCS notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission nearly two years ago of the company’s plans before filing the application in April. But the detailed review the NRC will now begin comes at a time when the company is poised to gain an ally in former Gov. Rick Perry, who awaits confirmation as energy secretary.

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What Could Go Wrong

Deadly High-Level Radioactive Waste: Health and Safety Concerns About Storage and Disposal

What Could Go Wrong

Austin, TX – A nuclear expert, a medical doctor, and an attorney joined public interest advocates to address the health and safety risks of bringing the hottest of nuclear reactor waste, the spent nuclear fuel rods, to Waste Control Specialists’ (WCS) dump in Andrews County, Texas or another Texas site. The legal issues involved were discussed as well.

Governor Perry and Speaker Straus are pushing consideration of importing dangerous radioactive waste for storage and possibly disposal in Texas, and the House Environmental Regulation Committee will hold a hearing on the issue in the near future.

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Related material:

Examining the fallout from Texas nuclear waste proposal

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus recently raised eyebrows among environmentalists and individuals connected to the nuclear waste industry. Unexpectedly opening the possibility of making Texas home to America’s supply of high-level radioactive waste will do that.

The United States lacks a permanent disposal site for 68,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel after the Obama administration decided in 2010 to halt funding for the multimillion-dollar Yucca Mountain geologic repository in Nevada. Straus has instructed legislators to determine whether Texas can be the answer and “make specific recommendations on the state and federal actions necessary to permit a high-level radioactive waste disposal or interim storage facility in Texas.”
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Vultures Picnic An excerpt from his great book – Vultures’ Picnic, In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores

Read an excerpt from the book.

August 22, 2012

Nuclear power requires Uranium mining, which threatens some Texas communities.

Stop Uranium Mining in Goliad County
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