An excerpt from the Augusta Chronicle on fate of highly radioactive waste:
The intent of the 2013 Nuclear Waste Administration Act is to implement recommendations from a blue-ribbon committee formed after the Obama administration halted a planned repository in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.
The bill, which goes before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on July 30, outlines “consent-based” siting policies that require support of state and local governments before waste storage or processing facilities can be established.
The legislation recommends no specific locations for “consolidated interim storage” of spent nuclear fuel, but Savannah River Site in South Carolina has already been discussed as a possible venue.
In March, consultants hired by the SRS Community Reuse Organization, an economic development consortium, unveiled a $200,000 study concluding that the site’s H Canyon processing facilities and history of nuclear involvement make it suitable for such programs.
The SRS Citizens Advisory Board has become involved in similar discussions. Its waste management committee voted 12-10 for a position paper opposing the idea. That draft resolution is scheduled for a formal vote by the full board Tuesday.
Until a solution is found, spent fuel will continue to accumulate at commercial power plants, which now store about 75,000 tons of the material on-site in pools or above-ground casks.