Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future

U.S. Nuclear Waste Panel Slammed for Ignoring Public Fears, Environment News Service, WASHINGTON, DC, August 20, 2010 (ENS) “…….The Commission is made up of 15 members who have a range of expertise and experience in nuclear issues, including scientists, industry representatives, and respected former elected officials. The Commission’s co-chairs have a record of tackling tough challenges in a thoughtful, comprehensive manner and building consensus among an array of interests.
The 18 member Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future is co-chaired by former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, and Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to Republican Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.

Formed in January 2010, the commission will produce an interim report by June 2011 and a final report by January 2012.

To date, the commission has held three full-scale public hearings to receive expert testimony.

The most recent public hearing was held in July at the Department of Energy’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Washington where two-thirds of the nation’s high-level radioactive waste by volume – 53 million U.S. gallons (204,000 cubic meters) – is stored in 177 underground radioactive waste tanks.

Three subcommittees dealing with waste disposal, reactor fuel cycle technology, and transportation and storage are also holding public hearings.

During the most recent hearing, held Thursday, the Transportation and Storage Subcommittee considered testimony regarding the risks of extended dry storage of spent fuel as compared to the risks of storage in pools of water and whether centralized, away-from reactor storage is a feasible alternative to long-term on-site storage.

Friedman advises, “The issues around nuclear waste storage need to be evaluated in a transparent and cooperative environment between technical experts and the public.”

Globally, each year, nuclear power reactors create enough spent fuel to fill a football field to a depth of 1.5 meters (4.9 feet), with a weight of about 10,500 tons. U.S. Nuclear Waste Panel Slammed for Ignoring Public Fears

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