ANS Commends Senate on Continued Progress Toward Nuclear Waste Legislation
Bill creates comprehensive plan for disposing radioactive waste
Looking to address long-term concerns over stockpiled nuclear waste, four U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska introduced legislation that seeks to create a comprehensive, long-term plan for managing the inventory of spent nuclear fuel. The American Nuclear Society commends the Senators for their revision of this important piece of legislation and for their willingness to engage the scientific and technical community in its development.
The proposed legislation calls for a new, independent nuclear waste administration with a 5-member Oversight board. ANS believes that an independent entity is absolutely necessary to ensure effective management of the nuclear fuel cycle. We strongly encourage the committee to continue their efforts to establish and ultimately charter an organization that will address our nation's nuclear waste.
The bill also creates a consent-based framework for developing consolidated interim storage facilities and a long-term geologic repository. ANS supports a transparent, phased, and science-based approach to selecting new storage and repository facilities. ANS also believes that the siting of interim storage facilities must be tightly aligned with the development of a repository. Whether or not the United States decides to develop recycling technology, some amount of material will be required to be disposed in a geologic repository.
This legislation is a strong step toward an effective and sustainable U.S. fuel cycle policy, and ANS urges the House and Senate to move forward with continued legislative consideration. ANS believes that this legislation lays a solid foundation from which we can begin serious discussion on how to address nuclear waste.