At the new Holtec facility, spent nuclear fuel would be shipped in from all over the country and put into interim storage. The proposal for the Holtec site was submitted in 2017 and is still under review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Holtec and ELEA should hear by 2021 whether or not construction can start. If all goes well, the soonest the site could receive waste would be 2023, says Heaton. The waste would be stored in canisters, which would make it easy to retrieve and move once a permanent repository is finally decided upon.
But the nuclear facility won’t only provide storage; it could also create stable work. The oil and gas industry has exploded in Carlsbad over the last three or four years, almost doubling the population. Rapid growth has strained resources in the sleepy, rural town, and RV camps—which locals refer to as “man camps”—have been set