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DOE Initiates Environmental Impact Statement for Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Technology Demonstrations

March 22, 2006 - 9:39am

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WASHINGTON , DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced plans to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the technology demonstration program of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) initiative.

DOE issued in the Federal Register today an Advance Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the GNEP technology demonstration program and plans to issue the final Notice of Intent in summer 2006. The advance notice requests comments from the public and private sectors on the scope of the EIS, reasonable alternatives, and other relevant information.

The EIS will inform DOE officials and the public of the potential environmental impacts associated with the program to develop and demonstrate advanced technologies to safely recycle spent nuclear fuel using more proliferation-resistant processes. The EIS will evaluate all reasonable alternative technologies as well as locations where the key elements of the technology program will be performed.

DOE is requesting comments on the Advance Notice of Intent by May 8, 2006. When the final notice is issued, DOE will announce a schedule of public scoping meetings in various locations to assist the department in further defining the scope of the EIS and identifying significant issues.

GNEP, which is part of President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, is a comprehensive strategy to increase U.S. and global energy security, encourage clean development around the world, reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation, and improve the environment. Accelerating the development and demonstration of new technologies for recycling spent nuclear fuel is a key aspect of the program.

On March 17, 2006, the department announced that it is seeking expressions of interest from the public and private sectors by March 31, 2006, to propose and evaluate sites suitable for demonstrating the new GNEP technologies. The department will issue a Request for Proposals later this spring and award contacts this summer to prepare site evaluation studies for locating engineering scale demonstrations of the department's advanced recycling technologies. The results of these studies will provide information for the development of the environmental impact statement.

Additional information on the advance notice of intent, the request for expressions of interest, and the GNEP program as a whole may be found on the Department's web site and gnep.energy.gov.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940

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