Blue Ribbon Commission: Subcommittee on Transportation and Storage

One presentation caught my eye, by Dr. Clifford Singer of Univ. of Illinois. Excerpts from the summary emphasize the incentives — which seem to totally absent from all the existing law and regulation. Ensure there is competition among several states for storage operations:

Obtaining the cooperation of localities and states on siting spent nuclear fuel management facilities requires more than building trust with local communities. States having an appropriate site will view it as a valuable energy systems asset and will want financial compensation not at the level of a few percent, but measured in tenths of the cost of the entire project. If siting is really to be voluntary, it is important not to put a single state in a monopoly position of having the only licensed site. To do so will generate tension with the federal government over the level of financial benefit to the host state and within the host state over whether the final arrangement is equitable. There must be a sensible mechanism for compensating host states and a process that leads to more than one site being licensed and ready for use.

(…) Use of the Framework: Congress should set the maximum allowed Permanent Fund charges high enough to make hosting spent fuel management facilities something that several states desire rather than wish to avoid. A short list of geological repository sites in at least six states should lead to a competition to be amongst two or preferably three chosen for licensing. It is economically optimal to age spent fuel intact over a few of the c. 30 year half lives of its most intense fission product heat generators, before its final disposition. Thus, a similar number of spent fuel aging facilities should be licensed, some of which may be at repository sites. In this context spent fuel reprocessing will not be economically favorable for many decades, if ever. If a pilot scale reprocessing facility is nevertheless licensed, it should also be licensed as an indefinitely renewable aging facility, as no reprocessing facility anywhere has yet both operated as planned and removed all high-level radioactive materials from site.

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