Waste Control Specialists recently announced its intent to file a license application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build and operate a facility for the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel by April 2016. Waste Control Specialists has chosen Andrews County, Texas, as the site for the proposed facility, which is also where the company currently operates a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility.

If the license is granted and the facility opens, it would be the first commercial away-from-reactor dry cask storage site in the U.S. and the only interim storage site accepting new spent fuel. Although the NRC previously granted an interim storage facility license to Private Fuel Storage, the proposed facility has not been built. Currently, the only standalone interim storage facility is the Morris Operation site, which houses spent fuel in a pool rather than dry casks and is not authorized to accept new fuel. 

The announcement by Waste Control Specialists is certainly an interesting development in the saga of how best to handle spent nuclear fuel pending the continuing controversy over the Yucca Mountain repository.