U.S. Panel Backs New Plan for Nuclear Waste
Source: China Post (5/16/11)
"A U.S. commission said it's building more nuclear storage sites."
A presidential commission looking for safe ways to dispose of U.S. nuclear waste said Friday it is considering a plan to build one or more storage sites to replace a long-planned nuclear waste dump in Nevada.
The 15-member commission, created by President Barack Obama, did not identify any proposed sites for nuclear storage. Nor did commission members agree whether there should be one or several sites for storage of nuclear waste for up to 100 years.
The panel, formally known as the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, also suggested the creation of a new organization, independent of the Energy Department, to locate and build a site for permanent burial of nuclear waste.
The Obama administration created the panel last year after canceling a long-standing plan to bury nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, a remote site 100 miles (160 kilometers) outside Las Vegas, Nevada.
The group released a series of recommendations by three subcommittees at a meeting on Friday.
Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman who co-chairs the panel, said the recommendations may or may not be adopted by the full commission. A draft report on nuclear waste disposal is due in late July, with a final report expected by January.
Commission members stressed that the storage facilities would not be the ultimate solution to the disposal of nuclear waste, some of which takes thousands of years to decay.
An interim site "will only work if it's combined with a process for getting an ultimate disposal site," said commissioner John Rowe, chief executive of Exelon Corp., the nation's largest nuclear supplier.