By Jarret Adams
It is not common for a group of industry executives to agree on a single point. But, it is interesting that nearly every industry leader to appear before the Blue Ribbon Commission has concurred that management of America’s used nuclear fuel should be controlled by a federal corporation, or “Fed Corp,” in the mold of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future was formed “to conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle and to provide recommendations for developing a safe, long-term solution to managing the Nation’s used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.” The panel’s latest public meetings were held Sept. 21-22.
Throughout the meetings, a range of industry executives have supported the idea that used fuel management should be moved from under the control of the Department of Energy to a “quasi-government waste management entity.”
“America’s used nuclear fuel program should be transferred to an entity with a management and financing structure that is able to function in the presence of the inevitable political and policy changes that will occur over the coming decades,” Marvin Fertel, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, told the panel in May.
Today Henry “Brew” Barron, president and CEO of Constellation Nuclear Energy Group, echoed the sentiments of Mr. Fertel in support of creating a quasi-government entity or Fed Corp to manage used fuel.
Barron expressed support for legislation offered by Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) that would create the U.S. Nuclear Fuel Management Corporation, a concept that mirrors this approach. AREVA also strongly supports this bill.
Other industry leaders such as Jack Fuller, chairman of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy; Kate Jackson, senior v.p. of Westinghouse; Alan Dobson, senior v.p. of EnergySolutions; and our own Alan Hanson, executive v.p. of AREVA, all voiced their support for the Fed Corp concept at an Aug. 30 meeting of a commission subcommittee.
During these meetings, the panel members posed a number of questions to the executives on how best to establish and structure such a Fed Corp.
At the August meeting, Dr. Hanson also laid out some of AREVA’s perspectives on used fuel management and the potential for recycling. Click here for a virtual tour of AREVA’s La Hague recycling facility in Normandy.
Tweet TAGS: Blue Ribbon Commission, Fed Corp, Tennessee Valley Authority