Importance of environmental monitoring for consent-based siting of nuclear facilities

November 18, 2022, 3:04PMNuclear NewsHaruko Wainwright and Carol Eddy-Dilek

Consent-based siting has become one of the emergent priorities in nuclear energy, particularly for spent fuel storage and high-level waste (HLW) disposal.1 Consent-based siting is based on broad public participation to address the needs and concerns of communities, aiming for equity and environmental justice. While there are some successful examples (Finland and Sweden above all), consent-based siting is not a straightforward process. Although Japan, for example, adopted consent-based siting for their HLW disposal over 20 years ago, it has not yet identified a community to host a repository. Environmental and safety concerns have been the biggest bottleneck for siting nuclear facilities. A recent proposal for the interim storage in Andrews, Texas, for instance, has been opposed by Gov. Greg Abbott and others.

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