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September 2004

State License Sought for Radioactive Waste Disposal
The Texas Facility would handle Disposal and Management of low-level radioactive wastes

Dallas, TX— Waste Control Specialists LLC, (WCS) announced that it has filed an application for state approval to operate a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility 30 miles west of Andrews, Texas. A $500,000 license application fee to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was included as part of the 4,000 page license application submittal.

“The application demonstrates to the state and its citizens that WCS is committed to providing an environmentally safe and scientifically sound disposal facility and has the financial resources to do so,” said George E. Dials, president and chief operating officer of WCS.

The permit application was submitted to the state under comprehensive regulatory legislation approved by the Texas Legislature last session to provide for the safe and permanent disposal of low-level radioactive waste generated by hospitals, research institutions, power plants and industrial activities. Under this legislation, a licensed private company may, upon issuance of a permit from the TCEQ, dispose of low-level radioactive waste from the Texas Compact and federal facilities, although the amount of federal waste that can be received is limited. The disposal activities will be regulated by agencies of the state of Texas. The Texas Compact is a federally approved agreement that provides for Texas to host a low-level radioactive waste disposal site to dispose of waste from Texas, Maine and Vermont. Under the Texas Compact, the state will receive hosting fees from the other states of up to $50 million, and the state will also receive disposal fees from waste generators as waste is received at the site’s facility.

“The application reflects WCS’ commitment to operate a low-level radioactive waste disposal site that relies heavily on proven technology, good management and excellent geology to protect public health and the environment,” Mr. Dials said. “Our application goes well beyond the stringent technical requirements set by the TCEQ,” he said. “More than 80 engineers, technicians and scientists spent nearly 30,000 staff-hours putting the document together.” The extensive application and accompanying documentation covers such diverse issues as engineering and design, operations, closure, geology, archeology, ecology, climatology, hydrology, site characteristics and socio-economic impacts. Mr. Dials said, “Part of the strength of WCS’ application is its location in Andrews County. There is more than 800 feet of clay beneath the surface, which will prevent the percolation of water and will contain any waste far longer than the time needed for it to decay to natural background levels.”

Efforts have been ongoing to locate such a low-level radioactive waste facility in Texas for more than 20 years before adoption of the new legislation.

A qualified disposal site will let Texans and the citizens of the Texas Compact states continue to take advantage of activities that produce low-level radioactive waste such as in medical treatment applications and research, as well as in some industries that produce items like smoke alarms, computer disks and reflective signs. Research facilities and power plants also produce low-level radioactive waste. Mr. Dials emphasized that low-level radioactive waste to be disposed at the site does not include spent fuel from nuclear generators or uranium or plutonium from inside nuclear weapons.

WCS currently holds licenses from the state and federal government for the management and disposal of hazardous waste as well as the storage and processing of low-level radioactive waste.

Once the application has been determined to be administratively complete by the Texas regulators, which determination may take several weeks, the application can be viewed from a link on WCS’ website.


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