New Projects, Nuclear, Waste Management & Decommissioning

DOE Considers Consent-Based Approach to Spent Nuclear Fuel Repository Siting

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering a consent-based approach to siting a nuclear waste repository in the U.S.
 
DOE has started collecting feedback from interested stakeholders on the approach and is planning several public meetings around the country. The kick-off meeting was Jan. 20 in Washington D.C., where stakeholders were asked how the site selection process can be fair, what models and experience should DOE use to design the process, and what information is necessary to facilitate participation. The next public meetings are scheduled for Chicago in March and Atlanta in April.
 
After DOE collects the information, it will design a siting process to serve as a framework, then use a mutually agreed-on consent-based siting process to work with potential host communities.
 
The Obama Administration in 2012 ended plans to build a national repository in Yucca Mountain in Nevada. The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future was commissioned to develop alternative strategies for nuclear waste management. DOE’s strategy document proposes a pilot consolidated storage facility by 2021, followed by a larger storage facility by 2025 and a geologic repository by 2048.
 
Andrews County commissioners in Texas approved a resolution to support the development of a consolidated interim storage facility at Waste Control Specialists’ low-level radioactive waste disposal facility that has been operating since 2012. The following April, Holtec International signed a memorandum of understanding with the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance to build an interim facility to store commercial spent nuclear fuel in New Mexico.
 
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