Canada Reaches Key Milestone in Consent-Based Siting Process
Last month, Canada took a significant step forward in its efforts to site a permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel. The country’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Bruce, one of two potential locations identified through a comprehensive consent-based siting process. "It is heartening to see an MOU has been signed between the Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization and South Bruce, one of the potential host communities for a geologic repository for nuclear waste,” said Tom Isaacs, Former Director of the Office of Nuclear Waste Policy within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), who serves as an advisor to NWMO and also volunteers on our coalition’s Advisory Council. “It is an important step for Canada along the way to identifying an informed and willing host community.”As part of the consent-based siting process, South Bruce developed 36 Guiding Principles establishing its priorities and expectations. The MOU outlines the ways in which NWMO will address these Guiding Principles if the South Bruce community ultimately consents to hosting a spent fuel disposal facility. Specific benefits include construction of a world-class science and innovation center and potentially a new trail system, as well as relocating NWMO’s office and staff to the community.
DOE Leaders Continue to Highlight Spent Fuel Issue
Since visiting the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in April, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has continued to raise awareness of the DOE’s efforts to pursue a consent-based siting process for federal consolidated interim storage for commercial spent fuel. Secretary Granholm recently visited the Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Connecticut at the invitation of Rep. Joe Courtney, a member of the bipartisan Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Caucus formed last year by Reps. Mike Levin and Rodney Davis. Secretary Granholm remarked, “It is important for us as a nation to say we are finding a place to store nuclear waste in one place, so that communities are not bearing this responsibility and we are consolidating the waste.” Dr. Kim Petry, the DOE’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition, also discussed progress toward a spent fuel solution at the American Nuclear Society’s annual meeting in mid-June in Anaheim. Dr. Petry noted that the DOE is actively working with partners in Congress, will release a summary of responses to its request for information this summer, and plans to announce a funding opportunity for potential host communities in the next few months.
Community Support Critical to Securing Spent Fuel Solutions
Since Spent Fuel Solutions (SFS) launched in March of 2021, we have focused on community engagement to raise awareness and expand our membership. Continuing to build on this momentum at the local, state and national levels – and achieving our overall goal of securing a federally licensed spent fuel storage or disposal solution – will require support from our members, leadership and communities. You can help us make a difference and advocate for spent fuel solutions by spreading our message to your own networks. “After decades of inaction, the federal government has finally taken steps to restart the federal spent fuel management program,” said San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan. “There has never been a better time for city governments, organizations and individuals to join San Clemente and hundreds of other supporters in advocating for this important issue.” You can help support SFS’s mission by: