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Citizens Advisory Board hopes Savannah River Site will not become interim spent fuel site

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 12:13 PM
Last updated 9:28 PM
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Savannah River Site’s many roles should not include interim storage of spent nuclear fuel, according to a draft resolution under development by the site’s Citizens Advisory Board.

The panel “does not support the use of SRS as a waste storage site for legacy waste or wastes from other non-site programs,” said a version of the draft recommendation distributed this week.

The fate of more than 75,000 tons spent fuel stored at the nation’s 104 operating commercial power reactors is in limbo because the government’s planned nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain was halted.

Since then, a Blue Ribbon Commission created by the Department of Energy to evaluate other options has released a report suggesting “interim storage” of spent fuel might be an option until a more permanent disposal solution is found.

The commission also said a system in which the federal government forces nuclear waste on communities where it is not wanted is a “no-win situation,” and urged a more cooperative siting process that involves communities who are supportive of spent fuel projects.

The SRS advisory board’s draft recommendation, which could be voted on later this year, includes a request that the Department of Energy keep the group – and the public – informed about “any plans or discussions for bringing any new wastes or materials to the site.”

The Yucca Mountain repository was also destined to become a disposal site for high-level Cold War nuclear waste that remains stored at SRS and has no clear path to disposition.


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