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VT NDCAP Federal Nuclear Waste Policy

 

VT NDCAP FEDERAL NUCLEAR WASTE POLICY (FNWP) COMMITTEE

VT NDCAP’s Federal Nuclear Waste Policy Committee was created in December 2020 in order for the Panel to learn more about US national spent fuel storage and disposal issues.  The Committee will develop recommendations on US nuclear waste policies for the Full Panel to consider.

Comments or Questions may be sent to the VT NDCAP Federal Nuclear Waste Policy Committee by emailing PSD.NDCAP@vermont.gov or by contacting State Nuclear Engineer Tony Leshinskie at anthony.leshinskie@vermont.gov or (802) 272-1714. 

All emails sent to VT NDCAP or the FNWP Committee become public record.

 

CURRENT & RECENT COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES:

The FNWP Committee is considering its next steps in assessing current Federal nuclear waste policies, including the review of recent Congressional spent fuel legislation proposals and efforts by the Congressional Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Caucus established in early 2021.  In 2022 and 2023, the Committee learned more about long-term spent fuel storage options.  

  • Details on the Committee's June 17, 2024 Meeting are available at Upcoming Committee Meetings

  • At its March 4, 2024 meeting, the Committee met with energy policy staff members from Vermont's Congressional Delegation and discussed several nuclear energy policy-related bills that have been introduced during the current Congressional session. Speaking at this session were:

    • Ethan Hinch - Energy Policy staff member from Senator Bernie Sanders' Office

    • Juliet Walsh - Energy Policy staff member from Senator Peter Welch's Office

    • Thomas Renner - Energy Policy and Public Outreach staff member from Congresswoman Becca Balint's Office.

         Also joining the meeting were Rebecca Ellis, State Outreach Director for Senator Peter Welch's Office.
         The Delegation Staff Members took questions from the Committee Members and several members of the
         public present at the meeting.

                March 4, 2024 MS Teams Webcast Recording

  • At its December 4, 2023 meeting, the Committee reviewed its 2023 activities and discussed potential next steps in assessing current Federal nuclear waste policies.  Language in the VT NDCAP 2023 Draft Annual Report summarizing Committee activities was reviewed and updated, as necessary. This discussion is available from the December 4 Committee Webcast Recording.

  • At its September 25, 2023 meeting, the Committee heard presentations on current US Department of Energy (DOE) planning for Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation.  Dr. Sara Hogan, Transportation Program Manager in DOE's Office of Integrated Waste Management, discussed the DOE's De-Inventory Reports. These reports assess the available Origin Site Infrastructure, the likely support activities, and potential transportation routes necessary for removing Spent Nuclear Fuel from a former or currently operating commercial nuclear power plant site. Since there currently is not a specific destination for US Spent Nuclear Fuel disposal, the De-Inventory Reports evaluate activities necessary to transport the fuel to the Geographic Center of the United States (GCUS).

  • At its June 12 and June 19, 2023 meetings, the Committee discussed potential recycling and reprocessing options for spent nuclear fuel. Both meetings featured a presentation by a recognized expert regarding nuclear fuel reprocessing and recycling. The US Department of Energy is reconsidering reprocessing (recycling) nuclear fuel, a practice essentially prohibited in the US for several decades, to limit reliance on foreign uranium sources.  Some existing light water reactors can use reprocessed fuel while several new reactor designs, if implemented, may require it.  At the June 12th meeting, Dr. Sven Bader, Technical Consultant at Orano Federal Services, discuss several spent fuel recycling options.  At the June 19th meeting, Dr. Edwin Lyman, Director of Nuclear Power Safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists, discussed several concerns regarding spent fuel reprocessing.

  • At its March 6, 2023 Meeting, the Committee discussed Two Perspectives on Amending the 1982 & 1986 Nuclear Waste Policy Acts. These perspectives were provided by Jay E. Silberg, a Partner at Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman, LLP and Diane Curran, a Partner at Harmon, Curran, Spielberg and Eisenberg, LLP.  This discussion is available from the 2023-03-26 Committee Webcast Recording.

  • At its December 5, 2022 Committee Meeting, the Committee reviewed its 2022 activities and brainstormed potential meeting topics for 2023. These resulted in several updates to the Panel's Annual Report draft.  Meeting logistics for 2023 were also discussed.

  • At the October 3, 2022 Committee MeetingCongressional Legislative Assistant Oliver Edelson provided an overview of US Congressional Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Caucus activities, as well as an informative Questions and Answers session on spent nuclear fuel policies.  This discussion is available from the 2022-10-03 Committee Webcast Recording.

  • At the May 23, 2022 Committee Meeting, representatives from Holtec International outlined the company’s plans for long-term monitoring and aging management of spent fuel storage systems, such as those currently used at Vermont Yankee.  A lively Questions and Answers session on spent fuel storage system capabilities occurred.  This presentation and discussion is available from the 2022-05-23 Committee Webcast Recording.

  • At its March 28, 2022 Meeting, the Committee received a presentation from Deep Isolation, a Berkeley, CA-based start-up company, that proposes using existing “side drilling” oil well technology as a means for spent nuclear fuel disposal. 

The Committee's next meeting will be held Monday, June 17, 2024.  Further information on this meeting will be posted below as it becomes available   

 

March 6, 2023

June 12, 2023

June 19, 2023

September 25, 2023

December 4, 2023

 

2023 Committee Meeting Archives

2022 Committee Meeting Archives

2021 Committee Meeting Archives

Federal Nuclear Waste Policy Committee Rev. 2 Report  (Summary of its 2021 Activities)

 

UPCOMING COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Monday, June 17, 2024

12 Noon to 1 PM

Microsoft Teams Webcast

The Federal Nuclear Waste Policy (FNWP) Committee of the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (VT NDCAP) will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, June 17 from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM.   A hybrid format will be used for this meeting.  In accordance with Vermont Open Meeting Law, the following physical location will be available for those wishing to attend this meeting in-person:

       Governor Hunt House 
       Small Meeting Room (1st Floor, rear of the building)
       320 Governor Hunt Road
       Vernon, VT 05354

Limited parking is available in the lot next to the Governor Hunt House along Vermont Yankee Drive.  Additional parking is available across the street in front of Vernon Elementary School. 

Remote access for this meeting will be available via a Microsoft Teams webcast and teleconference.  Members of the public may join the webcast via the following link: 

Webcast Connectivity for FNWP Committee Meetings

         VT-NDCAP FNWP Committee June 2024 Meeting

         Meeting ID: 219 455 202 503

         Passcode: NP9acz       (this code is case-sensitive)

         <Click Here to Join Teams via the Web using the above Meeting ID & Passcode>

         <Click Here to Download the Teams App (if needed for your device)>

 

Note that this is the same weblink used for FNWP Committee meetings since September 2023

While this weblink will broadcast both the video and audio portions of the webcast, the meeting audio will also be available from the following teleconference connection:

            (802) 552-8456 - OR - (802) 828-7228

            Phone Conference ID: 363 695 177#

Additional instructions for joining VT NDCAP webcasts are available from the following links:

      https://publicservice.vermont.gov/sites/dps/files/documents/Logging_into_MS_Teams.pdf

      https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/teams-meeting-toolbar-guide

At this meeting, officials from the US Department of Energy will be available to discuss long-term planning and technologies that could potentially be used for monitoring spent nuclear fuel storage cannister integrity, since it is anticipated that the spent fuel could remain at the VY site for several decades (and potentially longer).  Funding for long-term spent fuel storage may also be discussed.  The Committee Chair will also report on findings gleaned from a national RadWaste Summit attended in early June.

The June 17 meeting is scheduled to run for 1 hour.  Opportunities for public questions and comments will likely be limited to assure that the invited speakers have sufficient time for their discussions with Committee members.  Written questions and comments for the Committee members or the meeting speakers may be submitted to VT NDCAP’s email address at PSD.NDCAP@vermont.gov for follow-up replies after the meeting.  All emails sent to the Committee become public record and may be published on the VT NDCAP website  (https://publicservice.vermont.gov/electric/ndcap) or this webpage.

All Committee (as well as all other NDCAP) meetings are open to the public.  Questions regarding any of the Committee’s announced meetings may be directed to State Nuclear Engineer Tony Leshinskie at anthony.leshinskie@vermont.gov or (802) 272-1714.

 

Recent Spent Nuclear Fuel Policies Proposed by Congress 

100 Year Cannister Life Act (a newly reintroduced bill)

Status of Recent Congressional Spent Fuel & Decommissioning-Related Bills (as of May 2023)

2022 INSPECT Act (bill proposed is several recent Congressional Sessions)

STRANDED Act of 2021 (bill proposed is several recent Congressional Sessions) 

2021 US Senate Proposed Nuclear Waste Task Force

 

Background Reading on National Spent Fuel Policy Topics

September 2022 IBEW Comments on Proposed NRC Decommissioning Rules

2012 Presidential Blue Ribbon Commission Report on America’s Nuclear Future

Sierra Club Guidance on High-Level Nuclear Waste Management

World Nuclear Association Summary of National Nuclear Waste Policies

US Government Accountability Office Nuclear Waste Disposal Issues Summary

Nuclear Energy Institute Used Nuclear Fuel Policy Position

Science Matters, LLC Nuclear Waste Disposal Options Summary

NWSC Call for Action on US Spent Fuel Storage and Disposal

Marvin Resnikoff Article on Radwaste Disposal & Greater Than Class C Waste

NRC Documentation on Greater Than Class C Waste

US Department of Energy Nuclear Waste Fund Financial Statement Audit

2021 Potential Paths Forward on US Nuclear Waste Policy (Columbia University Article)

September 2021 GAO Recommendations for Federal Spent Nuclear Fuel Policy Actions (GAO-21-603 Full Report) 

One Page Summary of GAO-21-603 Recommendations  

 

US DOE Consent-Based Siting Efforts 

US Department of Energy November 2021 Consent-Based Siting Restart

Current US Department of Energy Consent-Based Siting Questionnaire  

US Department of Energy December 2016 Consent-Based Siting Public Input Summary 

US Department of Energy January 2017 Report on Consent-Based Siting 

 

Yucca Mountain Related Links:

NRC Review Status of Yucca Mountain Facility License Application 

US Department of Energy License Application for Yucca Mountain Facility

NRC Evaluation Documents for Yucca Mountain Application

NRC Yucca Mountain Brochure (aka Yucca Mountain “Backgrounder”)

Nevada Perspective on Yucca Mountain (2010 Idaho Law Review Article)

Brief History of Yucca Mountain Site Selection

Yucca Mountain: The Most Studied Real Estate on the Planet (2006 US Senate Report)

 

US Interim Storage Facility Links:

Interim Storage Facility NRC License Submittals (includes links for both proposed facilities)

2015 Andrews County Resolution Supporting an Interim Storage Facility  

2021 Andrews County Resolution Opposing Interim Storage Facility  

2021-09-09 Texas Law Opposing Interim Storage Facility 

Additional Details on Texas Law Opposing Interim Storage Facility  

2021-09-13 NRC Press Release on Andrews County Interim Storage Facility 

NRC Approval Documentation for Andrews County Interim Storage Facility

2022-05-23 Holtec Presentation on Spent Fuel Aging Management

 

Spent Fuel Transportation Topics:

Spent Fuel Transport Railcar Development Status (Atlas & Fortis Railcars)

Gap Analysis for Supporting Spent Fuel Transportation and Extended Storage

November 2017 NDCAP Presentation on Spent Fuel Transportation Planning

 

Additional Suggested Background Readings & Websites:

Windham Regional Commission Comments on Spent Fuel Repository Consent-Based Siting

November 2017 NDCAP Presentation on US Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage

Vermont Yankee Site Redevelopment (a Town of Vernon, VT webpage)

Vermont Yankee Site Landscape Inventory (a Town of Vernon, VT document)

Vermont Yankee Site Redevelopment Plan (a Town of Vernon, VT document)

World Nuclear Industry Status Reports (links to current and prior years reports)

US Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board