Citizens Advisory Board presents its findings to SRS

  • Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:05 a.m.
Staff photo by Derrek Asberry
A Citizens Advisory Board committee member expresses concerns over interim storage issue. The board will vote to oppose spent fuel or to keep discussions open today at 8:30 a.m. at the North Augusta Community Center. The board will also discuss budget concerns, which currently call for a $100 million cut and the loss of 600 jobs.
Staff photo by Derrek Asberry A Citizens Advisory Board committee member expresses concerns over interim storage issue. The board will vote to oppose spent fuel or to keep discussions open today at 8:30 a.m. at the North Augusta Community Center. The board will also discuss budget concerns, which currently call for a $100 million cut and the loss of 600 jobs.

Citizens Advisory Board committee members remain at odds over interim spent fuel storage at the Savannah River Site.

The waste committee presented its 12-10 decision opposing spent fuel storage at the Site during day one of a two-day meeting. The board will vote to oppose spent fuel or to keep discussions open today at 8:30 a.m.

“We have made our position clear, and hopefully, it will hold up through Tuesday’s meeting,” said Ed Burke, a waste committee member.

“I personally think we should take a wait-and-see attitude on it,” said Don Bridges, the Citizens Advisory Board chair. “It’s hard for me to get a sense of where CAB is about the subject, so we’ll vote and go from there.”

Today’s decision has sparked responses from several other interest groups and individuals from the community. Georgia WAND (Women’s Actions for New Directions) is one interest group that has covered the interim storage debate and has consistently opposed fuel dumping.

“It’s pretty much a no-brainer,” said Courtney Hanson, public outreach director for Georgia WAND. “We applaud the waste committee’s leadership in this issue, and we are in full support of their decision to oppose spent fuel storage.”

“Making a decision too early will give the Citizens Advisory Board a negative image that will be hard to reverse,” another community member stated. “The board will still have a chance to oppose storage down the road without taking such a hard position on it so early.”

In addition to the interim storage debate, committee members also expressed concerns with the FY 2014 federal budget. Currently, the proposed budget includes a $100 million funding cut, which could cut 600 jobs from the Site.

The board will vote on a final stance today following its interim storage vote.

“The budget outlook for 2014 is very dismal,” Bridges said. “We’ll be offering up the position that a $100 million cut is simply too much.”

Today, the Citizens Advisory Board will meet to vote on both issues. The board will also take public comments on the two subjects during designated periods. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will adjourn at 5 p.m. For a second straight day, the meeting will be held at the North Augusta Community Center. The center is located at 495 Brookside Ave. in North Augusta.

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