The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a request for information on a consent-based siting process that would be used to identify sites to store the nation’s spent nuclear fuel. The information will be used to further develop DOE’s consent-based siting process and overall waste management strategy in an equitable way. Nuclear energy is essential to achieving the Administration’s goals to create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by 2050. Managing waste not only makes nuclear a more sustainable option but also helps fulfill DOE’s obligation to manage the nation’s spent nuclear fuel.
“Hearing from and then working with communities interested in hosting one of these facilities is the best way to finally solve the nation’s spent nuclear fuel management issues,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “We know there are real benefits from jobs to new infrastructure that will result in interest in areas across the country. The public’s input is central to identifying those locations to make this process as inclusive and effective as possible.”
“I’m extremely excited about restarting the consent-based siting process,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr. Kathryn Huff. “DOE is committed to responsibly managing the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and willing communities have the right to explore the benefits and conditions they need to host a federal interim storage facility.”
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 passed by Congress provides funding and directs DOE to move forward with interim storage to support near-term action in managing the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and is an important component of an integrated waste management system.
DOE is committed to the consent-based siting approach that makes communities and people central in the process to give the nation its best chance at success in solving the nation’s decades-long stalemate over how to effectively manage our spent nuclear fuel.