Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future

Center President Norris McDonald at Yucca Mountain
Although the Center believes that Yucca Mountain is the best place to store (and reprocess) our nuclear waste, the Obama administration has decided to close the site that already has a five mile tunnel dug deep under the mountain. Department of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy Director Carol Browner have announced the formation of a 15-member panel called the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future that will try to find an alternative to Yucca Mountain. The commission will be headed by former Representative Lee Hamilton and longtime presidential adviser Brent Scowcroft and is assigned the task of coming up with a draft report in 18 months and complete its work in 24 months.

This commission expands on a proposal last year by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to establish such a body.

[Presidential Memorandum]

[DOE Announcement & Commission List]

Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu has said the commission will have a free hand to examine a “full range of scientific and technical options” on waste storage, reprocessing and disposal. The Center Co-Chairs the Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Coalition (NFRC), which is recommending removal of the nuclear waste function from DOE and placing it into a newly formed Nuclear Waste Management Agency. NFRC will be making that recommendation to the commission and is currently promoting legislation for the change in Congress. NFRC also supports reprocessing spent nuclear waste from commercial nuclear power plants. (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1/29/10)

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