[ RadSafe ] Because the Compacts have worked so well...

Cary Renquist cary.renquist at ezag.com
Mon Jul 13 16:29:13 CDT 2009

No comment,


Experts Call For Local And Regional Control Of Sites For Radioactive

ScienceDaily (July 11, 2009) - The withdrawal of Nevada's Yucca Mountain
as a potential nuclear waste repository has reopened the debate over how
and where to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste.

In an article in the July 10 issue of Science, University of Michigan
geologist Rodney Ewing and Princeton University nuclear physicist Frank
von Hippel argue that, although federal agencies should set standards
and issue licenses for the approval of nuclear facilities, local
communities and states should have the final approval on the siting of
these facilities. The authors propose the development of multiple sites
that would service the regions where nuclear reactors are located.

"The main goal . . . should be to provide the United States with
multiple alternatives and substantial public involvement in an open
siting and design process that requires acceptance by host communities
and states," the authors write.

Ewing and von Hippel also analyze the reasons why Yucca Mountain,
selected by Congress in 1987 as the only site to be investigated for
long-term nuclear waste disposal, finally was shelved after more than
three decades of often contentious debate. The reasons include the
site's geology, management problems, important changes in the
Environmental Protection Agency's standard, unreliable funding and the
failure to involve local communities in the decision-making process.

Going forward, efforts should be directed at locating storage facilities
in the nation's northeastern, southeastern, midwestern and western
regions, and states within a given region should be responsible for
developing solutions that suit their particular circumstances.
Transportation of nuclear waste over long distances, which was a concern
with the Yucca Mountain site, would be less of a problem because interim
storage or geologic disposal sites could be located closer to reactors.

"This regional approach would be similar to the current approach in
Europe, where spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste from about
150 reactors and reprocessing plants is to be moved to a number of
geologic repositories in a variety of rock types," said Ewing, who is
the Donald R. Peacor Collegiate Professor in the Department of
Geological Sciences, and a professor in the departments of Nuclear
Engineering & Radiological Sciences and Materials Science & Engineering.

Adapted from materials provided by University of Michigan, via
EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

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