Legislators meet on lab cleanup and energy programs

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By The Staff

The Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee of the New Mexico State Legislature begins two days of hearings in the area with a meeting Thursday in Española and Los Alamos on Friday.

“During these two days, we will continue our efforts to explore New Mexico’s role in providing energy to its own citizens, the region and the nation in the future,” said Chairman Representative John A. Heaton (D-Carlsbad) in a press relese.

“In addition, because of the importance of nuclear power to the security, independence and climate of the United States, we will be given a tutorial on spent fuel recycling to help us understand what we must do to manage spent fuel as the nuclear power industry grows.”

The committee announced plans for a day-long session at the Ohkay Conference Center Thursday and another half day at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos Friday.

“Our state faces many of the issues related to the national debate about alternative energy. During this next Committee meeting we are going to spend some quality time looking at some of our State’s issues related to alternative energy – both because our State houses radioactive waste, and because we are making strides in the areas of wind and hydrogen energy production,” said Sen. Richard C. Martinez (D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba & Santa Fe), vice chair of the Committee.

The focus of the Thursday morning meeting at the Ohkay Conference Center, which begins at 10 a.m., will be an update on Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories                   clean u

The afternoon session begins at 1 p.m. with a report on the Waste Isolation Pilot Program (WIPP) presented by representatives of the Department of Energy and the Hazardous Waste Bureau.

At 2 p.m., Rep. Heaton reviews for the Committee the national energy strategy, followed by a panel discussion of the transmission process. The Committee recesses at 5 p.m.

On Friday, the Committee convenes at Fuller Lodge at 8:30 a.m. in Los Alamos to hear a report on options for interim storage and reprocessing of spent fuel, followed by reports on LANL’s hydrogen technology program and fuel cell program.