BIG SPRING--The next nuclear storage facility could be in Big Spring. Friday AFCI representatives were in the small city talking to community members about the benefits of having a used nuclear facility. They went on to try to calm fears as it relates to the facility as well.
When people talk about nuclear power, it's normal for horror stores to come out as well. For example, the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, or more recently, 2011's Japan Fukishima nuclear power plant disaster.
Big Spring resident Kathryn Wiseman was one of the people that found out more about the proposed facility in Big Spring. She said, based on what she understands.
"This is not what they're talking about. They're talking about storage, just storage."
It will be a used nuclear storage facility. Essentially the facility will store spent nuclear material.
While nothing is written in stone, the conversations Friday were more of an informational session.
"If all we're looking at right now is getting some information, let's get some information," said Big Spring resident Malinda Flenniken.
Right now, information is the only clear point in this plan. AFCI representatives have been traveling across Texas educating people about used nuclear storage facilities. Doing this they say they hope to give people the opportunity to decide if the economic benefits outweigh the potential dangers.
"We don't want to miss an opportunity to help our economy, yet at the same time we want to make sure that our citizens and our children are safe and our generations to come are safe," said Wiseman.
To bring the facility to Big Spring, there are several steps that have be taken. First the community would have to agree on such a thing, next local government has to push for the facility. Followed with federal government support, to an ultimate evaluation of the area where the facility may be to check it's compatibility with the processes that will take place. It's a process organizers say will take years.
The upside is economic. The facility could potentially bring in over 18,000 construction jobs and 5,000 permanent jobs to the community in which it is built.
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