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BRC Summary of Nuclear Waste Management and Recommendations for Siting Nuclear Waste Facilities

In its report, the Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) provided a short summary of the history of nuclear waste management policy in the United States (Section 3.4) as well as the status of nuclear waste management programs in other countries (Appendix C). The BRC also examined decades of experience in siting nuclear waste facilities in the United States and abroad, and concluded that that United States needs to adopt a new approach to siting and developing nuclear waste management and disposal facilities in the future (Section 6.0).

The BRC believes that the siting process for future nuclear waste management facilities is likely to succeed if it is:

  1. Consent-based – in the same sense that affected communities have an opportunity to decide whether to accept facility siting decisions and retain significant local control.

  2. Transparent – in the sense that all stakeholders have an opportunity to understand key decisions and engage the process in a meaningful way.

  3. Phased – in the sense that key decisions are revisited and modified as necessary along the way rather than being pre-determined.

  4. Adaptive – in the sense that process itself is flexible and produces decisions that are responsive to new information and new technical, social, or political developments.

  5. Standards- and science-based – in the sense that the public can have confidence that all facilities meet rigorous, objective, and consistently applied standards of safety and environmental protection

  6. Governed by partnership arrangements or legally enforceable agreements between the implementing organization and host states, tribes, and local communities.

Download the Blue Ribbon Commission Report 2012