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DOE to Announce Details About the Blue-Ribbon Commission on Used Nuclear Fuel "Soon"

Via Nasdaq:
As part of a long-running rift over how to deal with the nation's nuclear power waste, the Obama administration announced plans this year to cancel the Yucca Mountain waste repository site 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Although Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in April he would appoint a panel to determine the country's future nuclear waste policy, there's been no news since of who would be named and when the panel would be convened.

DOE spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller told Dow Jones on Wednesday, "We are planning to make an announcement soon," but declined to elaborate.

The Department of Energy won't say what caused the delay, but some industry officials have said one of the difficulties could be the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which guides how such panels are appointed. The law - designed to ensure an objective and balanced representation of policy options - prevents the administration from stocking the panel with members who would likely reach the same conclusion.


Anonymous said…
Ah, the well-defined, oh-so-certain "soon". Is that "soon" as in geologic time? Or maybe until after the 2012 elections? Just the latest round of kicking the can down the road. Yep, real leadership, that. Hope and change, you know...
Anonymous said…
"real leadership, that. Hope and change, you know"

What, compared to the breakneck speed with which nuclear waste issues were addressed in the Bush administration? Come on.
Anonymous said…
Here's a news flash: George Bush isn't President anymore. This is all on Obama now. It is his DOE that is railroading YM down the tubes (in violation of the law of the land, the NWPA), and claiming they will appoint a "Blue Ribbon Commission" to "study" the nuclear waste issue. Change we can believe in, that's for sure.

Come on yourself.
BCRion said…
Regardless of your feelings about the Obama administration, this debate is irrelevant for the matter at hand. If you support nuclear energy, the only way for it to be politically sustainable is to get broad support from people on both sides of the political isles.

What this means is write your representatives, talk to people in your community, get involved with ANS outreach activities. Change occurs one mind at a time. :)
Author said…
Shouldn't the expert committee have convened before the $20-billion-wasting decision to terminate the Yucca repository was made? Or is the purpose of this committee to provide after-the-fact justifications?

The cart pulls the horse.

By the way, there's an interview on this with Steven Chu at the Tech Review. He seems to lean towards fast-neutron transmutation:

Which would nicely obviate this issue.
Kit P said…
I worked on YMP back when Clinton was president. The decision to move forward on YMP was on Clinton's desk. One of the first things Bush did was make the decision to move forward with That was the correct technical decision but was immediately criticized.

One of the first decisions the Obama made was to kill YMP. Why? All I have heard was that we could do better. I could do better if I went back high school and took geometry but did good enough the first time.

Since no valid technical reasons have been provided, I think it is fair to suggest that reason are political.
Anonymous said…
Typical Obama policy - make irrational uninformed decision first, figure out the impacts and alternatives later. Closing Gitmo, anyone? With Yucca Mountain, it's good to see that the administration is folowing through with "putting science in it's proper place." (Apparently, that means a place where noone can hear it screaming the obvious answers.) Maybe he will appoint a Nuclear Waste Czar and give him unconstitutional super powers...
Anonymous said…
Pretty hilarious to see a Bush supporter excoriate Obama for acting outside the constitution. Dick Cheney established an entire fourth branch of government to start wars based on fabricated intelligence and torture people.

Bush isn't president now? Yes, but he was for eight years. Obama's been in office eight months, and you're hypocritically saying he's dragging his feet on waste.

I expect this comment won't be posted, though even the off-topic anti-Obama rants will somehow continue to make it onto the board.
Anonymous said…
Obama is not only dragging his feet, he is acting like a dictator by unilaterally overturning the provisions of the NWPA for blatantly political reasons. Bush may have not done much on the waste issue in your NSHO, but he made the decisions and moved the YM project forward. He didn't pull the plug on it like The Won has done and kicked the can down the road with some bogus "Blue Ribbon Commission" (which hasn't even been set up yet, much less met, much much less done anything). Don't you understand that true leadership involves more than just voting "present" and punting the ball?
D Koloff said…
Obama is most certainly not dragging his feet on nuclear waste. He is working very hard to prevent a solution to the imaginary problem of what to do with nuclear waste. When I was an anti-nuke, there was considerable focus on stopping the back end of nuclear power; waste disposal. Even when I was rising out of the anti-nuclear miasma, I remained concerned about spent fuel. Then I learned about two things: Oklo and coal waste. All real science supports the construction of the Yucca Mtn future fuel storage facility. Only cynical left-wing politics could lead a President to do what Obama has done.
Pete said…
The DOE has become the master of ambiguities. We will "soon" hear more about the blue ribbon commission. Yesterday, another DOE official said the Obama administration is “still thinking” about nuclear energy.

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, but even I have to admit that leadership on nuclear issues from this administration is lacking. And the flawed advice they are getting from Harry Reid is, as Kit P suggests, shrouded in politics.
Anonymous said…
It is all symptomatic of weak and ineffective leadership: appointing "commissions" (which haven't been formed), initiating "studies" (for something already "studied" to death), defining timelines in terms of "soon" (relative to geologic time), "thinking about" things (a case of thinking too much and acting too little), voting present when it comes to important energy policy. This is really the "In" Administration, incompetent, ineffective, indecisive.

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