Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Nuclear waste commission issues final report

The bipartisan, 15-member presidential Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future issued its final report this past week, as part of its task "to conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle and recommend a new plan" [Right, nuclear fuel cycle from the report]

A policy alert from AAAS today summarized their three main recommendations: 1) establish a consent‐based approach for future nuclear waste storage and disposal site locations, rather than "trying to force such facilities on unwilling states"; 2) transfer responsibility for the nation's nuclear waste management program to a new organization that is independent of DOE; and 3) create a new mechanism for paying fees into the Nuclear Waste Fund "to ensure they are being set aside and available for use as Congress initially intended." There is an excellent summary of the report on, and some skepticism as to how Congress will deal with it.

AAAS also reports that the Commission's Co-chairs, former Congressman Lee Hamilton and Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Retired), will testify on the Commission's findings before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on Feb. 2.

Arizona State Senator Al Melvin (R-Marana) is pushing for Arizona to be a 'willing state' to accept nuclear waste and to host a recycling facility as well. His plan is to place the waste in underground man-made salt caverns.

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