International Best Practices

Consent-based siting

Spent Fuel Solutions supports a consent-based approach to siting consolidated interim storage (CIS) facilities and a permanent spent fuel repository. Consent-based siting follows a simple premise: that a community must decide for itself whether it is willing to consent to hosting a spent fuel storage or disposal site. This type of process has proven effective in other countries such as Canada, which is well along in pursuing an informed and willing community. It also helps promote equity and environmental justice, takes into consideration potential host communities’ vision for their future, and provides opportunities for participation at every step.

International case studies

Finland made history as the first country in the world to construct a spent fuel repository. Their experience showed that siting that prioritizes local support can yield successful results and served as a model for several other countries with mature siting efforts.

Department of Energy (DOE) program

Although siting a repository for the disposition of spent fuel in the U.S. likely will require modifications to current law, DOE recently took the first step in moving forward with consent-based siting for consolidated interim storage (CIS). CIS facilities serve as a temporary location to co-locate spent fuel from multiple sites until it can be disposed in a permanent site deep underground.  

In December 2021, DOE released a Request for Information (RFI) to gather public input on using a consent-based siting process for one or more federal CIS facilities. The Department received 225 responses to the RFI, including one from SFS. DOE has since awarded $26 million in funding to help 13 consortia provide resources for communities interested in learning more about consent-based siting, management of spent nuclear fuel, and interim storage facility siting considerations.

For more information, visit DOE’s website on consent-based siting.