In the wake of President Obama’s decision to abandon Yucca Mountain, the site selected to serve as the nation’s spent nuclear fuel repository, the President directed Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to put together a Blue Ribbon Commission that would “conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle.” After many months of anticipation, a fifteen person panel was named. I have been asked to serve on the Commission which will meet for up to two years to review the safety and security considerations, as well as the science and technology options involved in crafting future policy. This is in keeping, said Secretary Chu, with the Obama Administration’s commitment to restarting the nuclear power industry in America– “to meet our country’s requirements for clean base-load electrical generation.” Commission co-chair, General Brent Scowcroft emphasized that the Commission will come with no preconceived ideas of what the prescription for fuel cycle management will be. Co-chair Rep. Lee Hamilton also reiterated this: “We will be prepared to look at all options and put together a plan based on the best of today’s science and technological developments.”
The Commission has a challenging and important assignment, the result of which could have lasting impact on our nation’s ability to fully utilize the potential of this carbon free source of energy. I am honored to join in this effort.
Susan Eisenhower has spent many years working on issues related to energy and nuclear power. Read more about Ms. Eisenhower’s work in the nuclear area.