In an effort to restart America's nuclear industry, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today the formation of a Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future to provide recommendations for developing a safe, long-term solution to managing the Nation's used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. In light of the decision not to proceed with the Yucca Mountain, Nevada nuclear waste repository, the Commission will conduct a 2-year study to provide advice and make recommendations on issues including alternatives for the storage, processing, and disposal of civilian and defense spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.
INTERA's Denver office has the lead role in managing the Electric Power Research Institute's (EPRI) technical oversight of DOE's nuclear waste management and geological disposal programs. In anticipation of this Blue Ribbon Commission, we are now completing a Phase-1 EPRI report that (1) summarizes all of the information obtained in the site screening and selection programs conducted across the U.S. prior to the 1987 focus on Yucca Mountain, (2) an in-depth evaluation of the Environmental Protection Agency and Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations that would apply to any U.S. repository site other than Yucca Mountain, and (3) a survey of the international developments, concepts, regulations, and progress toward disposal of spent fuel and high-level waste. In addition, INTERA will lead the development of a follow-on Phase 2 EPRI study and report scheduled to begin in early 2010.