Group in Mississippi Promoting State for Interim Nuclear Waste Storage

A business group in Mississippi is urging the state to consider hosting an interim storage site for spent nuclear fuel.

During meetings with politicians and business leaders Monday, the Mississippi Energy Institute suggested waste storage holds the potential for significant investment and job creation in the state, according to a report in the Clarion Ledger. A white paper by the business group suggested that a consolidated storage site would bring $500 million and about 100 jobs in the short term. The paper also suggested that such a facility could encourage investment in a spent-fuel recycling facility in the intermediate term, as well as offer the potential to co-locate the site with a "long-term" geologic repository in the state's salt domes.

In the absence of the Yucca Mountain permanent repository mothballed early in the Obama administration, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future recommended the construction of one or more interim sites for spent fuel hosted in places that want them. Communities near the Department of Energy's WIPP facility in New Mexico have also expressed interest in such a site. So did a group in South Carolina, although an influential advisory board declined to endorse the idea last month.

Any proposal for interim storage in Mississippi will likely face opposition from environmental groups.  A similar proposal in Mississippi to store nuclear waste in the Richton salt domes was abandoned three decades ago.

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