A senior advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science told the government’s blue ribbon commission on nuclear waste it is “important to move ahead.”

DOE-SealWASHINGTON, D.C. – The senior advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science told the government’s blue ribbon commission on nuclear waste it is “important to move ahead” with a path for utility spent fuel stored at nuclear power plants and “to move rapidly.”

Climate change is driving the need for quick action, DOE’s Victor Reis told the panel.

President Barack Obama’s administration established the commission in 2009 to evaluate alternatives to the Yucca Mountain repository project in Nevada.

DOE plans to terminate that program September 30 due to unrelenting opposition by the state of Nevada and has said that neither the site nor the repository license application it submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission two years ago is technically flawed.

The commission is scheduled to submit its recommendations to DOE in January 2012.

Reis and other speakers stressed in presentations to the commission the need for the US’ new waste management strategy to be flexible and that no options should be ruled out.

A repository from which spent fuel can be retrieved, or removed, would leave the option open for reprocessing without waiting for a spent fuel reprocessing option to be in place before moving that waste from power reactor sites, Frank von Hipple, a professor of public and international affairs at Princeton University, told the panel.

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Source: Platts
Photo: U.S. Department of Energy