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Statement of the American Nuclear Society regarding the report of President Obama's Blue Ribbon Comission on America's Nuclear Future

The American Nuclear Society thanks the distinguished members of President Obama.s Blue Ribbon Commission on America.s Nuclear Future for their efforts in searching for solutions to the storage of used nuclear fuel in the United States. This problem has plagued our energy future, ever since the United States government failed to perform its responsibilities under the Energy Act of 1982, which required it to provide a viable, scientifically and economically sound solution to the challenge of managing used nuclear fuel.

We are in agreement with the Report regarding the importance of the creation of an independent agency to resolve the used fuel dilemma. We have expressed our opinion on this matter in a Position Statement issued in November 2009. The details of this expression may be found at http://www.new.ans.org/pi/ps/docs/ps22.pdf.

We also are in agreement with the Report about consolidated interim storage. Until a final resolution of the storage of used nuclear fuel is established, interim solutions must be found. Nuclear energy, which currently supplies nearly 20% of all electricity in this country with no greenhouse gas emissions, is too vital to our energy future and independence. The American Nuclear Society's Position Statement, promulgated in February 2008, on this issue is available at http://www.new.ans.org/pi/ps/docs/ps76.pdf.

As the leading professional society associated with nuclear science and technology, we are pleased that the Report has advocated the development of advanced technology in the recycling of used nuclear fuel. Many of the issues associated with storage will be effectively addressed by the implementation of new technologies to reduce the quantities of used nuclear fuel.

We trust that the Report will provide the impetus to Congress to create legislative solutions to the problem of the storage of used nuclear fuel. Congress has looked to the Blue Ribbon Commission for guidance, and we look forward to a thoughtful and productive debate.

Finally, we observe that the Report does not comment on the much discussed matter of the licensing of the Yucca Mountain repository. We are aware that the Commission was expressly instructed not to consider this matter, but also note that we have urged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue the licensing in order to obtain the benefit of the considerable scientific research and solutions the application has produced. Our position on the Yucca Mountain repository, issued in February 2009, is found at http://www.new.ans.org/pi/ps/docs/ps80.pdf.

For more information about the American Nuclear Society, please visit www.ans.org/. Established in 1954, ANS is a not-for-profit professional organization of engineers and scientists devoted to the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. Its 11,600 members come from diverse technical backgrounds covering the full range of engineering disciplines as well as the physical and biological sciences.

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