West Texas a finalist for deep drill site to explore nuclear waste storage
Written by Jeff Mosier at Dallas News
The Energy Department is studying the feasibility of conducting a deep borehole field test, which is expected to cost about $20 million to $40 million. The primary goal is to see if dangerous radioactive waste can be stored at the bottom of these kinds of deep holes.
Only one site would be selected for the test if the Energy Department goes forward with this project. The first phase is scheduled to last through May and focus mainly on community outreach and some additional geological analysis. A drill site could be chosen by late summer or early fall.
AECOM, the lead contractor for the site near Fort Stockton in Pecos County, is a Fortune 500 company that designs, builds, finances and operates major infrastructure projects. The company is also part of the management team of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico as well as other major energy department facilities.
Federal officials have emphasized that the “field test site would not be used for future nuclear waste disposal.” Earlier planning for tests in North Dakota and South Dakota were opposed by many residents fearful this would require their communities to accept nuclear waste in the future.