atw 2018-05v6

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atw Vol. 63 (2018) | Issue 5 ı May

permanent disposal site for the waste. The federal government

carried out geological and environmental impact

studies over several years to prepare the site, promising

utility companies it would transport their stockpiles of

spent fuel to the site by 1998. The problem is, the federal

government never received support for the project from

Nevada, which, ironically, has no commercial nuclear

plants itself.

In 2009, the DOE determined the repository was

unworkable and the Obama administration agreed to cut

funding. It has been a costly decision. Over the past

20 years, the federal government has paid more than

$ 4.5 bn in damages to utilities for not taking ownership

of the spent fuel as promised.

Since then, the DOE has been using a different tactic

to identify communities that may be willing to host a

repository. This “consent-based approach” encourages

input from the public and from state, local and tribal

officials. Proponents say it is designed to be a transparent

process that considers the public as partners in managing

nuclear waste. The DOE has hosted eight public meetings

around the country to structure the process and determine

what issues should be included. The DOE’s next step is to

design a framework to educate communities about the

pros and cons of siting a facility, including the increased

national security of having all the waste in one location

and the potential economic benefits to the host community.

The DOE said it hopes that by bringing states together,

it can finally find a willing and informed community to

host a storage site with a publicly acceptable system for

transporting waste to it.

According to the NCSL, finding communities that will

take the nuclear waste is not the most difficult part of the

problem. The jobs, federal money and other economic

benefits that follow a nuclear waste site make it attractive

to many.

The most significant hurdle can be convincing others

in the state that the benefits of accepting nuclear waste

outweigh the potential risks. “Finding a consenting

community is merely a first step,” wrote William Alley, the

former chief of the Yucca Mountain waste storage site, in

an opinion piece in New Scientist. “The harder part is

getting everyone else to sign on.”

Meanwhile, NRC commissioners have directed staff to

start gathering information aimed at preparing for the

resumption of Yucca Mountain’s licensing. The NEI has

underlined that consent-based siting should not take

precedence over the government’s legal obligations to find

a repository site.

Whether that site will be Nevada or somewhere else,

seems no closer to a resolution than it was when Yucca

Mountain was approved by President and Congress in 2002.

Author

NucNet

The Independent Global Nuclear News Agency

Editor responsible for this story: David Dalton

Editor in Chief, NucNet

Avenue des Arts 56

1000 Brussels, Belgium

www.nucnet.org

DATF EDITORIAL NOTES

283

Notes

Gross electricity production

in Germany 2017

The eight nuclear power plants in Germany produced about

76 billion kWh of electricity in 2017 which accounts for 11.7 percent

of all gross electricity production in Germany. 50.7 percent of

electricity produced in Germany came from fossil energy carriers.

4.3

Other

sources

11.7

Nuclear

energy

22.5

Lignite

Gross electricity production

(654,8 billion kWh) 2017 in percent

14.1

Hard coal

33.3

Renewable

energy

among:

3.1 Hydro power

13.5 Wind power onshore

2.7 Wind power offshore

6.9 Biomass

6.1 Photovoltaics

0.9 Garbage

Quelle: AG Energiebilanzen; Stand: 2. Februar 2018

13.2

Gas

0.9

Petroleum products

For further details

please contact:

Nicolas Wendler

DAtF

Robert-Koch-Platz 4

10115 Berlin

Germany

E-mail: presse@

kernenergie.de

www.kernenergie.de

DAtF Notes

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