Macfarlane to Concentrate on Spent Fuel

“We are paying more attention to spent nuclear fuel,” Allison Macfarlane recently told reporters. “We know this is a pressing issue.”

Radioactive_SymbolThe new chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said she plans to concentrate on the disposal of spent atomic fuel, an issue that is holding up decisions on power-plant licenses.

Allison Macfarlane also called on Congress and the White House to identify a permanent disposal site for spent fuel from the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors.

The NRC this month suspended final decisions on licenses for power plants until it completes a reassessment of risks related to storing spent atomic fuel. U.S. plants keep used fuel rods on site, in water pools or dry casks, because of a lack of permanent storage. Yucca Mountain in Nevada, an initial candidate for a permanent nuclear-waste dump, was rejected by the Obama administration following opposition from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada.

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Source: Kasia Klimasinska | Bloomberg Businessweek