25 March 2010

Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future meets for the first time

Today and tomorrow, in Washington, DC, President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future is meeting for the first time. This Commission is expected to make recommendations within 18 months on what to do with the United States' High-Level radioactive waste. This includes Spent Nuclear Fuel from commercial power reactors, as well as some of the defense waste currently stored at sites like Hanford. In fact, Hanford bears the bulk of the nation's liquid High-Level Nuclear Waste in aging and leaking underground storage tanks. Those tanks have already leaked over a million gallons into the soil, to contaminated the groundwater and the Columbia River. So, you can see why Hanford stakeholders are invested in the outcomes of the Blue Ribbon Commission.

The US has a long history of nuclear waste policy, which Don Hancock of the Southwest Research and Information Center, says has "effectively failed." The Blue Ribbon Commission, according to Hancock, presents an opportunity to "chart a path for how to start over to develop a scientifically sound, publicly acceptable program."

You can watch the Commisson's proceedings via streaming webcast if you're so inclined. If that's too much, take a minute to read up on what experts have to say:

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