Panel on Nuclear Waste Disposal to Propose Above-Ground Storage


Cooler King
Staff member
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Apr 15, 2009
WASHINGTON — A commission created to help resolve the impasse over the disposal of the nation’s nuclear waste will propose establishing one or more sites where used reactor fuel could be stored in steel and concrete structures on the earth’s surface for decades, members of the commission said this week.
A draft recommendation for such sites is to be discussed on Friday at a meeting of the panel, which was set up last year by the Department of Energy after President Obama canceled a longstanding plan to bury waste at Yucca Mountain, a site in the Nevada desert.

The commission will also recommend opening a new effort to find a burial site, members said, and suggest that it be led by an organization that is independent of the Department of Energy, which has been working on the waste disposal effort for decades.

Commission members say they will suggest securing the assent of local and state governments before a burial site is chosen. With a selection process that is based more on science than politics and the promise of local economic benefit, a host site could potentially be found, some of them said. Yucca Mountain was chosen by Congress in 1987 after a battle driven by not-in-my-backyard politics.

Friday’s meeting will be the first public discussion of draft recommendations by the panel, which is scheduled to issue a draft report this summer and a final report next year.
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