NWTRB releases updated report on national HLW programs

July 26, 2022, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board has issued a report to the U.S. Congress and the secretary of energy examining the programs for managing spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in more than a dozen countries.

The report, Survey of National Programs for Managing High-Level Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel: 2022 Update, is an update of a survey report issued by the NWTRB in 2009, in which the board described 30 institutional and technical attributes of nuclear waste management programs in 13 countries. Those countries, which include the United States, France, China, and the United Kingdom, account for 80 percent of worldwide nuclear power–generating capacity.

No judgments: According to the NWTRB, neither the current report, released on July 18 nor the 2009 report and a 2016 update, make judgments about any of the programs examined by the board. Rather, by focusing on experiences in the United States and other countries, the report is intended to provide useful technical and scientific information for decision-makers in Congress and the administration on different approaches to managing and disposing of high-activity, long-lived radioactive waste.

The board: An independent federal agency, the NWTRB provides ongoing evaluation of the technical and scientific validity of Department of Energy activities related to management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The board is directed by the 1987 Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act to report its findings and recommendations to Congress and the secretary of energy.

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