Washington—Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today issued statements on a report released by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.
Among the commission’s key recommendations is the creation of a new organization—independent of the Department of Energy—tasked with implementing a nuclear waste management program.
A crucial step in developing that program will be determining locations for consolidated above-ground storage sites and one or more below-ground geologic repositories. The commission recommends those waste storage locations be determined using a “consent-based” process rather than forcing sites on unwilling communities.
Senator Feinstein said: “I have reviewed the Blue Ribbon Commission report and broadly support its recommendations. Our current policy with respect to nuclear waste storage is unsustainable and must be addressed. I believe the commission’s recommendation to use a consent-based approach to selecting waste storage facilities—which has worked in other countries—is our best chance to finally solve the challenge of long-term waste storage.
“The fiscal year 2012 omnibus bill already moves us forward on a number of the commission’s key recommendations,” Feinstein continued, “and the Energy and Water Subcommittee stands ready to continue down that path. I look forward to holding hearings on this very important issue soon.”
Senator Alexander said: “I look forward to working with Senators Feinstein, Murkowski and Bingaman on taking these recommendations and, within a year, developing a plan for how best to dispose of our used nuclear fuel. This is essential if we want to have the nuclear power we need for clean, low-cost, reliable electricity to create jobs.”
A detailed summary and the full report can be found online at www.brc.gov.