We are pleased to report that the State of New Mexico has approved the land sale option allowing Holtec International to purchase 1,000 acres of land from the Eddy Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA). The land acquisition option paves the way for Holtec to build a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility (CISF) in Southeast New Mexico, which has been named HI-STORE. The New Mexico State Board of Finance (SBoF), led by Governor Susana Martinez, overwhelmingly supported the CISF project by approving the land purchase option. The SBoF is charged with the responsibility of approving property sales by any political subdivision in the state of New Mexico, as well as approving any financial or business investments by the State. The members of the SBoF are keenly aware of the role that HI-STORE might play to solve the Nation’s used fuel storage problem and diversify the economy in Southeast New Mexico. The land deal is a major milestone for the Holtec International-ELEA Team and a huge step in assuring Holtec that the Company’s agreement with ELEA to purchase the property is secure.
In awarding the option, the State, rich in oil and gas and mineral reserves, had to balance the mining rights in Southeast New Mexico with the introduction of Holtec’s environmentally benign HI-STORM UMAX technology that has the potential to create a new industry and well-paying jobs in the region. The successful efforts of the administration of Governor Susana Martinez, spearheaded by Commissioner Aubrey Dunn of the New Mexico State Land Office (both pictured below) to bring together the potash industry and the multiple oil and gas stakeholders, have presented a finely balanced compromise to the country that serves the interest of the Nation, the State and the local communities of Southeast New Mexico in equal measure.
There is no better place for HI-STORE than Southeast New Mexico. It is an isolated area, geographically stable with a populace highly educated in the nuclear industry. Southeast New Mexico, the Nation’s Nuclear Corridor, has developed a very supportive public for nuclear projects beginning with the WIPP facility, followed by the URENCO enrichment facility, and in the near future, the HI-STORE CISF.
The Holtec-ELEA Team has tremendous State and local support and consent. The support exhibited by New Mexico is consistent with that offered by a State which contains two of the Country’s national labs, WIPP, URENCO, White Sands Missile Range, three Air Force Bases, and one of the few Nuclear Engineering programs in the Country at the University of New Mexico. The communities and counties in Southeast New Mexico have each passed resolutions supporting HI-STORE. Governor Martinez sent a letter to Secretary Moniz of the USDOE expressing her very strong support for the CISF (HH 30.04), then led the overwhelming support of the SBoF. Showing a very broad indication of consent during the 2016 New Mexico State Legislative Session, both Senator Cisneros and Representative Brown sponsored a Memorial supporting HI-STORE. Each Memorial passed overwhelmingly with a 73% vote in both houses.
The HI-STORE CISF will deploy Holtec’s HI-STORM UMAX, a subterranean storage system sized to accommodate all currently licensed storage systems making it possible to store all U.S. commercial fuel at our planned Eddy-Lea alliance-sponsored storage facility in a common storage system. An amendment request to the HI-STORM UMAX CoC to store the NUHOMS 24PT1-DSC canister was recently submitted to the USNRC (HH 31.12). The site specific license application for the HI-STORE CISF is scheduled for submission to the USNRC in March 2017.