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Nuclear reprocessing plant gets go ahead to expand

A nuclear materials reprocessing facility called URENCO has been cleared to expand their facility after issuing an environmental assessment.

URENCO is located near the Texas-New Mexico border, off of New Mexico Route 176 near the town of Eunice and is approximately 60 miles east of Carlsbad. URENCO is not in anyway related to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, but the two have acknowledged working with one another if the two facilities ever need assistance.

According to a news release, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Friday an environmental study showed no significant human-related impacts that would come from URENCO’s expansion plans.

Related: New Mexico regulators to hear from public about power plant

According to the NRC website, they were created to ensure the safe use of radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes while protecting people and the environment. They regulate “commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials, such as in nuclear medicine, through licensing, inspection and enforcement of its requirements.”

“The NRC’s approval would increase the authorized mass possession limits for natural, depleted and enriched uranium, and would authorize use of a modified enrichment process to utilize depleted uranium as the feed material,” said Marissa G. Bailey, director of the division of Fuel Cycle Safety, Safeguards and Environmental Review at the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.

Before approving the expansion of the facility, the NRC reviewed information from URENCO and consulted with the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Office, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and Native American Tribes, local governments and other agencies officials.


This article was written by Sarah Matott from Carlsbad Current-Argus, N.M. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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