Texas Radiation Online - Waste Types Explained

*UPDATE* Waste Headed to Andrews Lost for a Month and Found Dumped in North Texas
- August 25, 2001. Driver dumps 22 tons of uranium waste on plastic covered with dirt and disappears.
- NRC spokesman downplays incident by stating material not requiring "special handling or disposal"

Harold Simmons
LobbyWatch: Corporate Raider Targets Lege
- piece on Harold Simmons, WCS majority stockholder, and his political campaign contributions.
- See also the pdf of a "Simmons Empire Political Influence Diagram"

Simmons and the Political Push for Andrews WCS
- June 21, 1999 - material from Moneytrail.org

Simmons and his Major Campaign Contributions
These are somewhat dated sheets from a list of contributions to major candidates in Texas.
page 1 --- page 2 --- page 3 --- page 4 --- page 5

Corporate Raider Battles Daughters Over Financial Empire
- November 10, 1997 - Associated Press, by Katie Fairbank

"The Texas Solution"
- Peter Klebnikov, Mother Jones Magazine, July/August 2001 Issue
- "The federal government is facing a glut of radioactive waste and a contract to bury some of it could be worth millions to one of George W. Bush's top fundraisers. "
- See Also The Ice Man: Harold & Annette Simmons

Buster, Chiz, and Mr. Speaker
- June 11, 1999 - The Texas Observer

The Texas-Vermont-Maine Nuclear Dump
Nov 1998, Z Magazine, by Brian Tokar and Gary Oliver

Nuclear Waste Is Good for You
- January 30, 1998 - The Texas Observer, by Richard Boren

From Maine to Texas
- October 24, 1997 - The Texas Observer, by Olive Hershey

The West Texas Waste Wars
- March 28, 1997 - The Texas Observer, by Nate Blakeslee

Various Small Tx Observer Articles 1998-99
- The Texas Observer

DOE waste would come through Andrews
New Mexico group proposes new route
- October 14, 1999; Andrews, Texas
- About WIPP waste coming through Texas; Texarkana to Dallas-Fort Worth to Midland to Andrews to WIPP. WIPP is owned by Westinghouse and is 32 miles west of WCS in New Mexico

Pasadena office closed; WCS updates local officials
- September 19, 1999 - Andrews, Texas
Majority stockholder Harold Simmons replaces Ken Bigham with Eric Peus as CEO and moves WCS's offices to Andrews Tx. "The Pasadena office had 15 employees, but none of them will be transferred to Andrews." "Peus also said that WCS plans to go back to the next Legislature, which will convene in January of 2001, to seek legislation that will allow private companies to dispose of radioactive waste. 'That's where we will need help... lobbying these people. We'd like to see the Andrews County people involved earlier in the Legislative session this next time,' he said."

Low-Level Radioactive Waste Legislative Activity Update
- July 1999 - from the National Conference of State Legislatures (http://www.ncsl.org/)
"During the closing hours of the 1999 legislative session, Senator J.E. "Buster" Brown was successful in abolishing the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Authority, effective Sept. 1, 1999. When Representative Warren Chisum stopped further action on the low-level waste bill, Brown introduced an amendment in conference committee that abolished the authority. The amended legislation affected several state agencies."

Low level radioactive dump for Andrews County is debated
- March 21, 1999 - Midland, Texas (AP)
- "Texas Rep. Gary Walker, R-Plains, plans to submit a bill allowing the state to consider a dump in Andrews.
"Opponents contend that hospital waste would account for only 35 percent of the material dumped. The overwhelming majority of low-level radioactive waste generated in the United States comes from decommissioned nuclear power plants and other industrial usage, they say."
"Walker complains that the dump opponents don't even live in Andrews. "You won't find any serious local opposition," Walker said. "People here know that it can be safe and it's good business."
Local opposition is pitted against local businesses... as one resident said in another article, "many local residents oppose taking the waste but are afraid they will lose their jobs if they speak out. If your bosses are for it, you don't dare speak against it in Andrews County"

Report indicates Andrews site may be unsuitable
- UT study discloses presence of Ogallala aquifer in proposed nuclear waste site.
- March 17, 1999, Odessa American, by Greg Harman
- "A study released by the University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology shows the geology of western Andrews County may be unsuitable for radioactive waste disposal. The report, released late last month and made public Tuesday, said the Ogallala aquifer is located beneath land owned by Envirocare of Texas and may also lie beneath Waste Control Specialists' hazardous and low-level radioactive storage facility. Concerned mainly with the possible location of underground water beneath the two sites, the report prepared by the bureau's research scientist, Alan Dutton, questions the methodology behind a recent report by Texas Tech University scientists, paid for by Pasadena-based Waste Control Specialists.
"He states that Ogallala is absent at the WCS site," Dutton's report said. "No scientific description or documentation were included with the text ... to substantiate these interpretations."
The report also states that "the description of core materials" at the WCS site resemble those found at Envirocare's 888 acres, located eight miles southeast of Envirocare's unimproved lands. Wet core samples taken from the Envirocare of Texas site reflect the presence of groundwater, the report said. Core samples taken from the WCS site for the company's 1993 application for radioactive waste disposal also were wet.
"The Texas Low-Level Radioactive Disposal Authority, the state agency charged with siting and operating a low-level radioactive waste dump in Texas for wastes from Maine and Vermont, requested the report from the Bureau of Economic Geology in January.

Department of Energy plans Uranium-Converting Plants
- March 2, 1999, NY Times
- "Under a law passed last year, the federal government is holding about $373 million for the factories. It is asking private companies for their proposals to use the money to build them.
"The money was paid over the last few years by customers of plants that were then owned by the government and that process uranium for use in nuclear reactors, sorting out the type that splits easily, uranium 235. In addition, after the government sold those plants in a public stock offering last year, the new private entity that manages them, the United States Enrichment Corp., paid another $66 million to the government to handle the waste produced after privatization."

Firm mounts lobbying offensive for nuclear waste pact
- Dallas businessman Simmons' team includes array of ex-state officials
- February 7, 1999 - The Dallas Morning News
"The group representing Waste Control Specialists, based in Pasadena, Texas, includes former top aides to Gov. George W. Bush and a bevy of influential one-time state senators and representatives." ... "Waste Control wants to bury the material at its 1,338-acre hazardous and toxic waste dump in Andrews County on the New Mexico border." "Some legislative veterans say Waste Control is spending an unusually large amount of money."
Rival company Envirocare, which also owns land in Andrews county, also has former House and Senate members on it's payroll.

West Texas counties, companies vie for nuclear dump
- January 10, 1999 - Andrews, Texas (AP)
- "Our opponents are not asked to prove their statements," said Lloyd Eisenrich, director of the Andrews Industrial Foundation. "They rely upon emotion rather than facts to make a point."
The Andrews Industrial Foundation is made up of the more affluent sector of Andrews Co., including local county officials and representatives. In a lobbying effort, they even bought full page ads in all major Texas newspapers and The New York Times which took the entire back page of the business section with thier signatures, a 'petition' for the WCS dump being active.

Residents file petition against Nuke dump
Ward County citizens urge commissioners to turn away radioactive disposal company
- The rush for another site? Envirocare reveals future dump site targets to compete over with other companies
- September 28, 1999 - Odessa American (Odessa, Texas)
Envirocare selects Ward County for an above ground long-term radioactive storage facility, over 350 petition signatures given against it obtained in less than 20 hours. Although, "Envirocare plans to announce whether it will site its facility in Ward, Loving or Borden County on Friday." Thus, Loving and Borden Counties are potential future targets.

Reeves County seeking legal advice on waste site battle
October 29, 1999, Odessa American, by Greg Harman
- "Reeves County Commissioners may take their opposition to a proposed radioactive waste site into court. Commissioners Tuesday night allocated $20,000 of county money "for legal research and expenditures" to seek legal counsel and help develop a strategy to fight the construction of a low-level radioactive waste storage facility that may locate to neighboring Ward County.
"The waste facility proposed by Envirocare of Texas, sister company to Envirocare of Utah, would house civilian-generated low-level radioactive waste from Texas, Maine and Vermont in aboveground, concrete bunkers for an undetermined period of time - most likely in Ward County. Most of the waste, in bulk and in radioactivity, would come from decommissionered nuclear power plants."

Landfill to recieve backing
Site to be research, development center
- October 20, 1995 - Odessa American

Facts about the WIPP site
- Why is the WIPP site in New Mexico unsuitable for nuclear waste disposal?
Point by point there are many flaws with the WIPP site

WIPP support grows slightly
- June 22, 1998 - Roswell Daily Record
"You know, years ago when I would go up to Santa Fe, everybody had anti-WIPP signs in their window. And the last time I was in Santa Fe, I couldn't find one," former Carlsbad Mayor Bob Forrest said recently." ... "I don't know how many hearings we geared up for and made hundreds of phone calls for," recalled Dan Gibson, who played a leading role in opposing WIPP during the height of opposition to the project. "What happened is that people poured their heart and soul into (fighting WIPP) and eventually got burned out." Gibson questions whether the younger generation is interested. Others believe the people simply lost faith."

Nuclear waste site still hot issue
- WIPP critics unswayed months after disposal begins in New Mexico
- July 06, 1999, Odessa American, by Greg Harman
- "A second shipment from Rocky Flats arrived at WIPP Friday morning, days after a lawsuit spearheaded by former New Mexico Attorney General Tom Udall and several environmental groups was dismissed by the U.S. Court of Appeals." Prior to that shipment, the facility had received 12 shipments from Los Alamos, one from Idaho and one from Rocky Flats. About 138,000 cubic meters of trans-uranic waste - stored in 65 standard waste barrels and 70 55-gallon drums - have accumulated in the far room of panel one. Trans-uranic wastes are produced from plutonium in the creation of nuclear weapons and are heavier than uranium. The trans-uranics include americium, neptunium and californium.

WCS still pursuing napalm contract
- April 09, 1999, Odessa American, by Greg Harman
- The Navy's primary contractor for napalm disposal will review a proposal from Waste Control Specialists to build a napalm-burning incinerator on lands recently donated by WCS to the Lea County Solid Waste Authority outside Eunice. Battelle is the Navy's contractor for the disposal of 3.3 million gallons of napalm stored at Fallbrook Naval Weapons Support Facility.

Waste Control Specialists vs. U.S. Department of Energy
- from the National Conference of State Legislatures (http://www.ncsl.org/)
- Do states have regulatory authority over federal nuclear waste facilities within their borders? This also contains a timeline of WCS activity from September 1996 to May 1998.
"This question is the crux of an ongoing court battle between Waste Control Specialists, LLC of Texas (WCS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In a preliminary injunction order that could have far-reaching effects on state regulatory authority, a federal district court judge found that state and/or Nuclear Regulatory Commission permits are not necessary for DOE radioactive waste disposal at privately-owned sites under contract with DOE. The preliminary injunction is currently on appeal. Many states are understandably concerned about this possible erosion of state regulatory authority. In February 1998, sixteen states filed an amici curiae"
WCS v. DOE Amici Curiae Brief