Jan Phillips, AREVA Federal Services
I had the opportunity recently to visit AREVA’s French facilities with members of AREVA’s grassroots outreach organization, the Community Advisory Council. The Council was established to provide nuclear educational opportunities to members of the African-American, Latino-American, Asian-American and Native-American communities. We visited La Hague, Flamanville-3, Georges Bess II, MELOX, Creusot Forge, and Chalon St. Marcel in a week. Needless to say, it was a whirlwind trip!
The Council members who participated are very open to discussion of the nuclear fuel cycle and how AREVA’s technology could help the U.S. return to nuclear power, paving the way for cleaner energy. The presentations focusing on the recycling of nuclear fuel seemed particularly of interest. When they realized that AREVA has been recycling fuel for more than 40 years, reducing proliferation threats and has little waste for long term storage, while in the U.S., the used fuel is not available for recycling and that it’s now stored around the country at commercial nuclear facilities, it was an eye opener. It was difficult for them to understand why the U.S. isn’t pursuing a recycling option.
By educating leaders of grassroots organizations, they in turn can pass that education along to members of their organizations. The cascade continues as the members pass along knowledge to their business associates, colleagues, families, and friends. This is one way to provide information to the public about options for the safe reuse of used nuclear fuel.
The more our citizens know, the better chance we have to push forward on doing in the U.S. what has been done in France safely and effectively for more than 4 decades.