Domenici to Speak at Uranium Conference

HOBBS, N.M., April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Former Senator Pete V. Domenici will be the key note speaker at the Uranium Fuel Cycle Conference, April 27 in Hobbs, N.M.

The N.M. Center for Energy Policy, which is a division of New Mexico Tech, in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County and New Mexico Junior College, is organizing the conference to bring together leaders in nuclear-related mining, energy and waste management. Domenici has long been considered one of the most consistent and forceful national advocates of the nuclear industry.

The six-term senator from New Mexico is a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, a panel formed by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 and tasked by Secretary Steven Chu to study options for the disposal of nuclear waste.

New Mexico Tech Vice President Dr. Van Romero, a speaker at the event, said Domenici is expected to deliver remarks relative the uranium fuel cycle, with special attention to environmental issues related to disposal of spent fuel.

A special session will address the crisis at the Fukushima reactor in Japan.

“As we understand more and more about what is happening and what has happened in Fukushima, it becomes more obvious that spent fuel pools are a major contributor to environmental issues,” Romero said.

“This will be the first public forum to review public safety issues in the nuclear energy industry since the incident in Japan,” conference organizer Dr. Daniel Fine said. “This is terribly important because of the potential loss of public confidence in nuclear energy.”

Fine said that public polls showed that 60 percent of Americans opposed nuclear energy after the Three Mile Island incident. Public sentiment did not begin to improve until 2005 and we would like to avoid a decrease in public confidence because of the accident in Japan, he said.

The conference takes place in Lea County, which is known as the EnergyPlex of Eastern New Mexico with capital investment in uranium enrichment and waste/storage and with uranium tailings recovery potential.

To learn more about the conference or register, please visit www.energyplexnm.com or call 575-397-2039.

SOURCE Economic Development Corporation of Lea County