Ideas. Action. Results.

Leading Experts Join Initiative to Create and Advocate Solutions to America’s Nuclear Waste Problem

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Washington, D.C. – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Energy Project is pleased to announce an advisory council for its new initiative on nuclear waste, America’s Nuclear Future: Taking Action to Address Nuclear Waste. The advisory council includes:

  • Vicky A. Bailey, former member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (BRC); former member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission;
  • Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council;
  • David Blee, executive director of the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council;
  • Peter Bradford, adjunct professor, Vermont Law School; former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
  • Norm Dicks, senior policy advisor at Van Ness Feldman LLP; former U.S. representative of Washington’s 6th Congressional District;
  • Alex Flint, senior vice president of governmental affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute;
  • Dennis Hastert, senior advisor at Dickstein Shapiro LLP; former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives;
  • Dick Kelly, former chairman and chief executive officer of Xcel Energy;
  • Richard A. Meserve, president of the Carnegie Institution for Science; former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
  • Jim Nussle, former director of the Office of Management and Budget; former chairman of the U.S. House Committee on the Budget;
  • Phil Sharp, president of Resources for the Future; former member of the BRC;
  • Ted Strickland, president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund; former governor of Ohio; and
  • David Wright, former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; former chairman of the South Carolina Public Service Commission.

Despite decades of citizen and governmental efforts – as well as the expenditures of billions of dollars – the U.S. still struggles with how to address our nuclear waste problem. BPC’s initiative is designed to expand national and regional conversations on this issue, as well as to develop and advocate implementable policy options. The advisory council will play a key role in directing and guiding the project’s work and interacting with external groups for their perspectives.

“Public acceptance is the key to producing a workable solution to the nuclear waste problem. It’s important with this initiative that we get it right, and not settle for expedient measures,” said Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Our nation’s electric power sector is in the midst of dramatic change, but the debate over spent nuclear fuel is stuck in neutral. Whether your primary concern is grid reliability, climate change or national security, the prompt, safe and economic disposal of spent nuclear fuel is a concern that must be addressed,” said BPC President Jason Grumet. “The advisory council’s extensive experience will bring a critical eye to existing ideas and challenge BPC to consider new solutions.”

“I have been involved with nuclear waste issues for decades, since my time as a state legislator in Illinois. I am very pleased to see a bipartisan initiative that seeks to spur action on the nuclear waste front,” said former Speaker Hastert.

Governor Strickland added, “this is exactly the kind of initiative needed to move the ball forward and address nuclear waste issues that affect many states, including my home state of Ohio.”

The BPC initiative is an 18-month project designed to identify barriers prohibiting progress on nuclear waste and to explore options for breaking down those barriers. The initiative will conduct workshops, produce issue briefs and develop policy options that are effective, politically feasible and action-oriented.

Specifically, the initiative will host four regional public events to discuss the barriers to moving forward on nuclear waste and potential actions to remove the barriers. The events are planned for the northeast, southeast, midwest and west; the first event is planned for Boston at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on June 10th.

For more information on this project, please visit https://bipartisanpolicy.org/projects/energy/nuclear-waste.