DOE to scrap SRS initiative

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 5:28 PM
Last updated 7:57 PM
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The U.S. Energy Department will scrap a Bush administration initiative that could have brought billions of dollars in new spending—and a lot more nuclear materials— to South Carolina.

The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, unveiled in 2006, was a plan to reprocess spent commercial nuclear fuel to maximize its efficiency, reduce waste volume and prevent its exploitation for nuclear weapons. Two of the 11 sites proposed for such reprocessing centers are in South Carolina.

The domestic portion of the international program, which has been criticized by environmental groups as too expensive and too dirty, will not be pursued any further.

“The Department has already decided not to continue the domestic GNEP program of the last administration,” said DOE deputy press secretary Jen Stutsman in a statement today to Nuclear Engineering International magazine. “The long-term fuel cycle research and development program will continue, but not the near-term deployment of recycling facilities or fast reactors.”

Tom Clements, the Southeast nuclear campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth, said scrapping the program has both positive and negative impacts for South Carolina.

“Some of the big contractors have been anxious to get new missions for Savannah River Site, including a reprocessing facility, so this will be a big setback to those efforts,” Mr. Clements said. “On the other hand, it is good news for the taxpayers and good news for the environment of South Carolina in that we wouldn’t have all this material being shipped here.”

One of the possible sites for a reprocessing facility is in Barnwell County adjacent to SRS. Savannah River National Laboratory within SRS also received a grant to study site possibilities.

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SCEagle Eye
SCEagle Eye 04/15/09 - 06:44 pm
This is great news for tax

This is great news for tax day protestors nationwide and for the environment of South Carolina! Now, it will be harder for narrow special interests, represented by Senator Ryberg of Aiken, to try and dump the nation's spent nuclear fuel at SRS. DOE recently estimated that a reprocessing plant, which would leave behind a huge amount of deadly radioactive waste would cost more than $15 billion - see DOE Perspectives on Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycles:

If they knew what this meant and were really against big-government, special interest programs, Tax Day Tea Party folks should be loudly celebrating this decision of a program started by Bush.

shivas 04/15/09 - 07:11 pm
Oh, the irony.

Oh, the irony.

pofwe 04/15/09 - 07:35 pm
TruthTeller, practice what

TruthTeller, practice what your name professes.

wbbh 04/17/09 - 04:40 pm
Sad news for the carbon free

Sad news for the carbon free nuclear power industry. Get ready to a lot more for electricity. Aiken (so called) Conservative, AC, fails to mention the tons of spent nuclear fuel stacked up all over the country. This spent fuel needs to be reprocessed into more fuel and yes some waste. What AC doesn't want to think about is the millions of tons of coal waste, fly ash and CO2 that will be added to the atmosphere because of this short sided decision.

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