Otero Mesa bore hole defunded

Otero Mesa bore hole defunded

Many Otero County residents breathed a sigh of relief in May when the U.S. Department of Energy withdrew its proposal to drill a 3-mile borehole in Otero Mesa to research the storage of radioactive waste. 

The DOE had identified five potential sites for its test site, one in Otero County. The other possible locations were in Quay County, New Mexico, Pecos County, Texas, and two South Dakota counties. 

The test would require drilling a 8.5-inch-diameter hole down 16,000 feet. If that were successful, they would attempt an 18-inch hole — also 3 miles deep. The object of drilling the larger borehole would be to determine if the hole is straight enough to accept nuclear waste canisters all the way down.