DOE nuclear energy commission to hold first meeting

Washington, D.C., March 3, 2010 — On Thursday, March 25th and Friday, March 26th, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, co-chaired by former Congressman Lee Hamilton and former National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft, will hold its first meeting in Washington, D.C.

At the direction of President Barack Obama, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu established the commission to conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle and to provide recommendations for developing a safe, long-term solution to managing the nation’s used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.

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The commission is made up of 15 members who have a range of expertise and experience in nuclear issues, including scientists, industry representatives, and respected former elected officials. The commission will produce an interim report within 18 months and a final report within 24 months.

According to the commission’s charter, the commission is tasked with:

Evaluation of existing fuel cycle technologies and R&D programs. Criteria for evaluation should include cost, safety, resource utilization and sustainability, and the promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and counter-terrorism goals.

Options for safe storage of used nuclear fuel while final disposition pathways are selected and deployed; 

Options for permanent disposal of used fuel and/or high-level nuclear waste, including deep geological disposal; 

Options to make legal and commercial arrangements for the management of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste in a manner that takes the current and potential full fuel cycles into account; 

Options for decision-making processes for management and disposal that are flexible, adaptive, and responsive;

The possible need for additional legislation or amendments to existing laws, including the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended; and

Options to ensure that decisions on management of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste are open and transparent, with broad participation.

The meeting will be held at the Willard Intercontinental in Washington, D.C. Further details will be released soon and published in a Federal Register notice.


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