Future of SRS will be discussed at presentation today

  • Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:58 p.m.
    UPDATED: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 7:17 a.m.

Being a site for storage and possibly recycling of the nation’s spent nuclear fuel could be in the future of the Savannah River Site, and a presentation Thursday may offer a blueprint.

The Governor’s Nuclear Advisory Council is scheduled to hear a presentation from Areva Federal Services Technology Director Paul Murray on “Interim Storage and Recycling of UNF (Used Nuclear Fuel).”

SRS is one of many sites with some level of interest in temporary storage facilities being constructed.

The permanent home of the nation’s spent fuel has been in limbo since President Barack Obama euthanized the Yucca Mountain repository in his first term.

Areva already has a major presence at SRS as part of the Shaw AREVA MOX Services project to build the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility.

More than 75,000 tons of nuclear waste were to be buried deep inside a Nevada mountain. In the wake of the decision to close Yucca, a Blue Ribbon Commission formed. It suggested interim storage sites could safely be used to store the materials until a permanent solution was found.

This presentation has become a rallying point for anti-nuclear and environmentalist groups looking to make it clear that they do not want SRS to become a temporary or permanent “Yucca Mountain.”

The Blue Ribbon Commission recommended a “consent-based approach to siting future nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities,” noting that trying to force such facilities “on unwilling states, tribes and communities has not worked.” This position was echoed by the SRS Citizens Advisory Board in an October 30 recommendation.

As well as the presentation on spent fuel, Dr. Terry Michalske, director of the Savannah River National Laboratory; Patrick McGuire; Zack Smith, DOE-SR deputy manager; and Senior Program Advisor for Fissle Materials Disposition Jeffrey Allison will update the Council on project progress.

Michalske will present information titled “Don’t Throw Out Baby with Nuclear Bathwater,” in which he outlines that there is commercially-viable materials contained in the nation’s nuclear waste and that these should not be discarded blindly.

McGuire will offer an update on the work being done at SRS’ H-canyon, and Allison will do the same related to the MOX project.

Emails requests comment from Areva and Shaw AREVA Mox Services were not returned on Tuesday.

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