In response to the recent vote by the Mescalero Apache Tribe approving creation of a temporary nuclear waste storage site on tribal lands in New Mexico, the consortium of 34 utilities seeking a spent-fuel site have geared up for action.
According to Scott Northard, project manager for the consortium, Northern States Power Co. (NSP) (em which has spearheaded the effort (em has met with the other utilities and found enough interest to move forward with the process. May 3 is the target date for firm utility commitments to the project. The consortium hopes to submit a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the end of 1996; the site has already passed a preliminary environmental screening. If all goes well, the site could begin receiving waste by mid- to late 2002. Northard labels the effort an "industry self-help program," born of utility frustration with the Department of Energy and the federal government's failure to provide a promised waste site.
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