NWTRB to hold meeting and workshop on consent-based siting

August 2, 2023, 12:02PMRadwaste Solutions

The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, which evaluates the Department of Energy’s activities on radioactive waste management, is holding a hybrid (in person and virtual) public meeting on August 30 to discuss the DOE’s consent-based process for siting one or more federal interim storage facilities for commercial spent nuclear fuel. The DOE’s research and development related to high-burnup SNF and advanced reactor waste disposal will also be discussed.

The meeting will be preceded on August 29 by a one-day international workshop on the siting of radioactive waste facilities. Like the meeting, the workshop will also have in-person and virtual attendance options.

Meeting details: The public meeting will be held at the Snake River Event Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It will begin at 8:00 a.m. (MDT) on August 30 and is scheduled to end around 4:00 p.m. Details for attending or viewing virtually, along with a detailed agenda, will be available on the NWTRB’s website approximately one week before the meeting.

One item on the agenda is an update on the DOE’s consent-based siting activities. The agency will give an overview of environmental justice in consent-based siting and describe how it is incorporating social science and digital tools during the consent-based siting process.

In addition, the DOE will describe its advanced reactor waste disposition R&D efforts both in terms of determining from a technical perspective how it can accept the SNF and high-level radioactive waste for transportation and disposal and of developing and implementing an R&D plan to address technical gaps related to storage, transportation, and disposal of advanced reactor SNF and HLW.

Workshop details: The August 29 workshop, which will be held from 8:00 a.m. to around 5:00 p.m.(MDT), also at the Snake River Event Center, will update the NWTRB’s understanding of the lessons learned from the siting of radioactive waste management facilities, domestically and in other countries. A full agenda and details on joining will also be provided on the NWTRB website prior to the workshop.

The board said its objectives for the workshop are to obtain information that may be applicable to the DOE’s efforts to develop one or more SNF interim storage facilities using a consent-based siting process, and to enhance the board’s evaluation of the scientific and technical validity of the DOE’s activities.

Planned workshop presentations include the experiences in siting SNF repositories and storage facilities in the United States as well as geological repository experiences in Canada, Switzerland, and Sweden. The DOE will describe how it is incorporating best practices and lessons learned from international and domestic siting efforts, and from environmental justice efforts in its consent-based siting activities.

Public comments: The NWTRB will provide the public the opportunity to comment on the DOE’s consent-based siting efforts and waste management activities during both the workshop and meeting. Comments can be submitted both in person and online.

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