WCS has been rooted in the Andrews Community since the beginning. Many residents of this community remember a time of economic uncertainty in Andrews during the booms and busts of the oil production industry.
That is why our local leaders and the Andrews Economic Development Corporation came together in 1997 to work to diversify the local economy. While continuing to support ranching and oil exploration in the area, our leaders also identified an important asset and untapped resource that was unique to Andrews.
The WCS site was selected and established due to its unique geological features and ideal climate. The site is located atop a ridge of 600-foot thick red-bed claystone in a relatively remote, semi-arid, sparsely inhabited area of far west Texas that is 32 miles west of the city of Andrews. The nearest residence is approximately 3.5 miles to the west in New Mexico, and an average annual rainfall of less than 16 inches.
WCS is proud to have been part of the Andrews community and economic success for over 25 years.
- We are the largest private employer in this community, with over 120 highly-skilled employees from Texas and New Mexico.
- WCS will continue to offer safe and secure storage and permanent disposal of low-level waste from critical industries across the State including healthcare, energy, Military, power generation industries, and oil and gas.
- Both Andrews County and the State of Texas receive a significant percentage of the gross revenue from waste disposal activities.
- WCS makes quarterly payments to the State and county.
- Since operations began, Andrews County has received approximately over $17.4 million in fee revenues and the State of Texas has received approximately over $77.2 million of disposal fees.
- WCS has also made over $300 million in fixed-asset investments in Andrews County and the annual payroll at the site is over $15 million (over $375 million to date).
Get the Facts
WCS is a one-stop location for treatment, storage and disposal of Low-level radioactive waste (LLRW). This waste includes items that have become contaminated with radioactive material or have become radioactive through exposure to radiation. LLRW is generated at facilities such as nuclear power plants, oil and gas operations, hospitals, and research institutions.
As part of our 25 years of operations, WCS has been safely working with Greater Than Class C (GTCC) LLRW for over two decades. Any possibility of future waste of this kind would be years away and consistent with the work WCS is already doing safely. Despite this, we want you to know the facts.
We want you to know that:
- GTCC LLRW is not High Level Waste (HLW) or Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF).
- By definition, GTCC is Low Level Waste.
- GTCC LLRW is safe to transport and dispose.
- Since GTCC is LLRW, GTCC activities on the WCS site are regulated by the State of Texas.
- With the approval of TCEQ, WCS currently stores GTCC from oil and gas and medical sources and has done so safely for over 20 years.
GTCC comes from:
- Radioactive sources that are used (a) in oil and gas exploration, (b) in hospitals to diagnose and treat illness, and (c) in other industries for non-destructive testing.
- Metal nuclear reactor internals that are exposed to radiation and are disposed during decommissioning, including from the 4 nuclear power reactors in Texas.
- Other waste primarily associated with (a) the cleanup of historical radioactively contaminated sites, (b) production of molybdenum-99 for medical use, and (c) production of radioisotope power systems for space exploration.