Panel to discuss management solutions for nuclear reactor fuel discharge

The Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering Department at Illinois will feature a panel discussion of local experts in response to the Blue Ribbon Commission’s call for public input in recommending national solutions for nuclear reactor fuel discharge management.

The Panel Discussion on the Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America’s Nuclear Future will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4, in 253 Mechanical Engineering Building, 1206 W. Green Street, Urbana.

With Lesley M. Wexler, Professor of Law, moderating, the panel discussion will feature these presentations:

BRC Draft Report, Public Policy and Legal Issues, with Clifford E. Singer, NPRE and Professor of Political Science, presenting, and Kristin Arden Rowell, Professor of Law, as discussant.

Repositories for Nuclear Reactor Fuel Discharges, with William R. Roy, Senior Geochemist, of NPRE and Illinois State Geological Survey presenting, and Stephen P. Altaner, Professor of Geology, as discussant.

Managing Nuclear Reactor Fuel Discharges, with David K. Lartonoix, NPRE graduate student, presenting, and James F. Stubbins, Professor and NPRE Department Head, as discussant.

Public input is being gathered in preparation for the BRC’s Midwest region meeting in Minneapolis on Oct. 28. Congress is expected to act on the current impasse over nuclear reactor fuel discharge management after it receives the final BRC report in January 2012.

The State of Illinois is the largest producer and holder of nuclear fuel discharges in the United States. So far, attempts to force U.S. states that do not have nuclear power plants to take in nuclear reactor fuel discharges from Illinois and other states all have failed.

The BRC draft report has been ambiguous about whether future attempts to site nuclear reactor waste management facilities will be fully voluntary on the part of prospective host states. The question remains as to what Illinois’ options will be if no host state volunteers.