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Las Cruces Sun News: Embracing the American Southwest’s Energy Future

A crucial opportunity exists to shape the American Southwest’s energy landscape and achieve economic growth while overcoming misguided opposition.

The Energy Future is Here: Holtec’s Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility

Originally published at on May 11, 2023.


The Southwest Public Policy Institute (SPPI) has championed the benefits of nuclear energy as the cleanest, greenest, cheapest, and safest source of power. Now, with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval of Holtec International’s permit for a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in New Mexico, we stand at a critical juncture in shaping the region’s energy landscape. It is imperative that we embrace this opportunity and move past misguided opposition driven by NIMBYism and political posturing.

The American Southwest’s Nuclear Potential

The approval of Holtec’s consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel is a significant milestone in the realization of a robust nuclear industry cluster in the American Southwest. With a similar complex already approved in Texas, the region has the potential to become a hub for the safe and secure storage of spent nuclear fuel. The benefits of such a development are immense, offering substantial economic growth, job creation, and technological advancement.

Overcoming NIMBYism

Unfortunately, despite strong support from local communities, some state and federal politicians, swayed by anti-nuclear and anti-green energy sentiment, have vehemently opposed the establishment of CISFs. They fail to recognize the negligible risks involved and the manageable nature of such storage facilities. Witnessing this NIMBY opportunism that obstructs progress and overlooks the immense benefits that nuclear energy can bring to our states is disheartening.

Safety and Scientific Rigor

Critics often rely on misinformation and fear-mongering rather than sound science and engineering. It is crucial to emphasize that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, tasked with ensuring public safety, conducted a comprehensive environmental impact assessment and safety evaluation before recommending the license issuance. The stringent regulatory process guarantees that all necessary precautions are in place to safeguard our communities and the environment.

Addressing Concerns

Opponents argue that the storage facilities are “temporary” solutions without a permanent repository. However, this should not undermine the viability and necessity of interim storage. The Department of Energy must take responsibility for developing a permanent solution. In the meantime, interim storage provides a crucial stopgap measure to address the pressing issue of spent nuclear fuel.

While New Mexican lawmakers continue to push legislation to prohibit the storage or disposal of spent nuclear fuel without their consent and the existence of a federal repository, their efforts appear increasingly out of touch with the reality of the situation. Instead of recognizing the expertise and thoroughness of the commission, these lawmakers seem determined to cling to outdated opposition, disregarding the potential economic benefits and the urgent need for responsible and secure storage solutions. Their resistance appears increasingly futile and only serves to highlight their disconnect from the facts and the interests of their own constituents.

Economic Growth and Energy Diversification

In a region heavily reliant on the oil and gas industry, the establishment of the CISFs offers an unparalleled opportunity for economic diversification. The revenue generated from the project will not only benefit local governments but also contribute to New Mexico’s long-term economic resilience. It is a chance to reduce dependence on finite resources and embrace a sustainable energy future.


The approval of Holtec International’s permit for the spent nuclear fuel storage facility marks a turning point. As advocates for nuclear energy, we urge leaders in Texas and New Mexico to look beyond the politics and seize this opportunity for their states. Let us prioritize common sense, scientific rigor, and judicial analysis over misguided opposition driven by ignorance and hysteria. By embracing nuclear energy, we can chart a course toward a safer, cleaner, greener, and more prosperous future for the American Southwest, setting an example for the entire nation.

Originally published at on May 11, 2023.

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