Yesterday, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (BRC) released its final report to the Secretary of the Department of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu. The report outlines a new, integrated strategy for managing and disposing our country’s nuclear waste.
The Blue Ribbon Commission is co-chaired by former Congressman Lee Hamilton, who is also a co-chair of the BPC’s National Security Preparedness Group. BPC Senior Fellow and former Senator Pete Domenici served on this two-year commission as co-chairmen of the Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technology Subcommittee. Other Commission members include John Rowe, CEO of Exelon Corp. and BPC Board Member, as well as the Honorable Philip R. Sharp, President of Resources for the Future, and Richard A. Meserve, President of the Carnegie Institution, both members of the BPC’s former energy project, the National Commission on Energy Policy.
VIDEO: Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources receives testimony from Pete Domenici, Lee Hamilton and Brent Scowcroft on BRC’s final report
The BRC’s recommendations address a broad range of issues, including siting future nuclear waste management facilities, the transport and storage of spent fuel and high-level waste, institutional arrangements for managing spent nuclear fuel and high-level wastes, reactor and fuel cycle technologies, and international considerations. Key BRC recommendations include:
- A consent-based approach to siting future nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities
- Creation of a new organization outside of the Department of Energy dedicated to managing safe storage and disposal of spent fuel and high-level wastes
- Changes to treatment of the Nuclear Waste Fund in the federal budget to ensure that the fees are available for use for their intended purpose
The BRC did not take a position on the Obama Administration’s request to withdraw the Yucca Mountain license application, but recommends a waste management approach that can be applied to all potential disposal facility sites and neither includes nor excludes Yucca Mountain. Implementation of the BRC’s recommendations will require action by both the Administration and Congress and the Commission calls for urgent action to break the current stalemate in our country’s nuclear waste management policy.
- BPC’s Nuclear Initiative Hosts Second Event on Nuclear Nonproliferation, October 4, 2011
- New BPC Nuclear Initiative Holds First Event on Lessons Learned from Fukushima, August 4, 2011