The U.S. Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has resolved one of the last legal issues leading to construction of a nuclear fuel refinery near Hobbs, N.M.
Although agreeing the plant's backers failed to justify their estimates of how much it would cost to dispose of nuclear waste, the board ruled the failure was irrelevant and construction should be allowed, the Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal reported Thursday.
Critics told the newspaper they disagree with the decision, claiming it means New Mexico officials might have to deal with the radioactive waste problem.
"This raises a significant risk for New Mexico," Arjun Makhijani, a physicist with the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Washington, D.C., told the Journal
The board is to issue a final ruling on the plant later this month and, if approved, construction could begin as early as July or August.
The plant is being supported by an international consortium of nuclear companies.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
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