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Per Peterson, chair of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, presents on the United States' nuclear waste policy and gives recommendations on future steps. …

Per Peterson, chair of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, presents on the United States' nuclear waste policy and gives recommendations on future steps.

The NuClean Kick-Off workshop was held on Nov. 7, 2013 at the Handlery Union Square Hotel in San Francisco, CA, co-located with the AIChE 2013 Annual Meeting.

For more information on NuClean, visit: http://www.aiche.org/cei/conferences/nuclean-workshop/2013.

For more information on AIChE's Center for Energy Initiatives (CEI), visit: http://www.aiche.org/cei.

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  • 1. Next Steps for U.S. Nuclear Waste Policy Per F. Peterson Professor Department of Nuclear Engineering University of California, Berkeley November 7, 2013 UC Berkeley
  • 2. Recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on America s Nuclear Future UC Berkeley
  • 3. Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, January 27, 2011 UC Berkeley
  • 4. Blue Ribbon Commission •  The Blue Ribbon Commission on America s Nuclear Future established by the President s Memorandum for the Secretary of Energy on January 29, 2010 •  Charge to the Commission: Conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle and recommend a new strategy •  Delivered final report with recommendations to the Secretary of Energy on January 29, 2012 UC Berkeley
  • 5. Members •  Lee Hamilton, Co-Chair - Director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University, former Member of Congress (D-IN) •  Brent Scowcroft, Co-Chair – President, The Scowcroft Group, and former National Security Advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush •  Mark Ayers, President, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO •  Vicky Bailey, Former Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Former Indiana PUC Commissioner; Former DOE Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs •  Albert Carnesale, Chancellor Emeritus and Professor, UCLA •  Pete V. Domenici, Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center; former U.S. Senator (R-NM) •  Susan Eisenhower, President, Eisenhower Group, Inc. •  Chuck Hagel, Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University, Former U.S. Senator (R-NE) •  Jonathan Lash, President, World Resources Institute •  Allison Macfarlane, Assoc. Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason Univ. •  Richard A. Meserve, President, Carnegie Institution for Science, and former Chairman, U.S. NRC •  Ernie Moniz, Professor of Physics and Cecil & Ida Green Distinguished Professor, MIT •  Per Peterson, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Nuclear Engineering, Univ. of California – Berkeley •  John Rowe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Exelon Corporation •  Phil Sharp, President, Resources for the Future; former Member of Congress (D-IN) UC Berkeley
  • 6. Subcommittees •  Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technology –  Formed to answer the question: Do technical alternatives to today s once-through fuel cycle offer sufficient promise to warrant serious consideration and R&D investment, and do any of these alternative technologies hold significant potential to influence the way in which irradiated nuclear fuel is stored and disposed? •  Transportation and Storage –  Formed to answer the question: Should the US change the way in which it is storing used/spent nuclear fuel and high level waste while one or more geologic repositories are established? •  Disposal –  Formed to address the question How can the U.S. go about establishing one or more disposal sites for high-level nuclear wastes in a manner that is technically, politically and socially acceptable? UC Berkeley
  • 7. The Commission modeled the processes we recommended be used in siting new facilities •  March 2011 – issued staff What We ve Heard report –  Summarizes major themes heard during initial public meetings and in comments from the public and stakeholders in seven broad areas: »  Program Governance and Execution »  Nuclear Waste Fee and Fund »  Approach to Siting »  Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technologies »  Transport of Spent Fuel and HLW »  Storage of Spent Fuel and HLW »  Disposal System –  Available at www.brc.gov UC Berkeley
  • 8. Overview of 8 Key Recommendations 1. A new, consent-based approach to siting and development 2. A new organization dedicated solely to implementing the waste management program and empowered with the authority and resources to succeed UC Berkeley
  • 9. Overview of 8 Key Recommendations 3. Access to the funds nuclear utility ratepayers are providing for the purpose of nuclear waste management 4. Prompt efforts to develop one or more geologic disposal facilities 5. Prompt efforts to develop one or more consolidated storage facilities UC Berkeley
  • 10. Overview of 8 Key Recommendations 6. Prompt efforts to prepare for the eventual large-scale transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste to consolidated storage and disposal facilities when such facilities become available 7. Support for continued U.S. innovation in nuclear energy technology and for workforce development 8. Active U.S. leadership in international efforts to address safety, waste management, non-proliferation, and security concerns UC Berkeley
  • 11. Current Major Legal Actions •  DC Court of Appeals: Lawsuits against DOE seeking payments for interim storage costs resulting from partial breach of contract –  Lawsuits ongoing, $21 billion liability by 2020. •  DC Court of Appeals: Lawsuit against DOE seeking suspension of the collection of the Nuclear Waste Fund Fee –  Oral arguments heard on Sept. 25, 2013; judges skeptical of logic for continuing collection of the fee •  DC Court of Appeals: Lawsuit resulting in mandamus order to NRC to restart of Yucca Mountain License Review –  Question is what NRC will do with its limited available funding, NRC now seeking stakeholder input –  Many recommend publishing the YM Safety Evaluation Report •  NRC Nuclear Waste Confidence Rule –  NRC published draft rule in Sept., 2013 for public comment UC Berkeley
  • 12. DOE contracts with utilities •  DOE contracts with utilities provide a legally binding framework that defines obligations of the federal government and utilities –  Current DOE partial breach of these contracts is resulting in approximately $500 million per year in awards from the U.S. Treasury judgment fund –  Utilities have no motivation to agree to modify these contracts, unless the federal government can begin to perform (e.g., develop capacity for consolidated storage and restart repository development work) –  Everything becomes much more interesting after the federal government develops capability to perform UC Berkeley
  • 13. President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request •  Proposes $5.6 billion in spending over 10 years –  Discretionary appropriations of $1.8 billion within existing funding caps, in amounts up to $200 million per year –  Remaining $3.8 billion would be funding from the Nuclear Waste Fund’s annual fees, use of balance of the NWF, and defense funds. –  Accepting used nuclear fuel from shutdown reactors triggers one-time fees from utilities of approximately $2.5 billion. –  Results in a net “PAYGO” score of approximately $1.3 billion. •  Funds EPA review and update of a generic disposal standard •  Funds DOE work in many areas –  –  –  –  –  Investigations into the extended storage and transport of used fuel Research into alternative disposal environments, particularly salt R&D to further the understanding of deep borehole disposal. System architectures of various used fuel management systems Update transportation and storage system models, including analyses for shutdown reactor sites, standardized canisters –  Outreach activities on transportation planning Statement of Peter Lyons, before the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives, April 11, 2013. UC Berkeley
  • 14. Senators Wyden, Murkowski, Alexander and Feinstein have released a discussion-draft bill •  Similar to Senate Bill S3649 introduced by retired Senator Bingaman on August 1, 2012 •  This “Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013” would have: –  Creates a new Nuclear Waste Administration agency »  Administrator serves for a 6-year term and can be reappointed »  Oversight by a Nuclear Waste Oversight Board –  Authorizes the agency to enter into consent agreements with state, local, and tribal governments, subject to ratification by Congress –  Creates an new Working Capital Fund to hold future Nuclear Waste Fund receipts –  Directs the agency to initiate a consent based process to site new consolidated storage and geologic disposal facilities –  Does not fund any additional work for Yucca Mountain (not an appropriations bill), but also did not preclude any future decision by Congress to restart the Yucca Mountain project UC Berkeley
  • 15. Why move now to pass legislation? •  Leaving spent fuel dispersed at shutdown reactor sites sets a bad example –  Do we want a future world with old, cold spent fuel dispersed around the world at shutdown plants with questionable security? ! •  Unless action is taken to restart an effective and vigorous U.S. nuclear waste program, I doubt that a new NRC Nuclear Waste Confidence ruling will survive court challenges UC Berkeley
  • 16. Thank you UC Berkeley