This booklet provides an overview of issues involved in the Department's vision of an integrated waste management system and its consent-based approach to siting the facilities needed to manage nuclear waste.
Under Secretary for Science and Energy Lynn Orr discusses the consent-based siting initiative, as part of a strategy to for long-term storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
The consent-based siting initiative received more than 10,000 comments in response to the Invitation for Public Comment in the Federal Register requesting feedback from communities, states, Tribal Nations, and interested stakeholders on important considerations in designing a fair and effective process.
The Administration's Strategy for the Management and Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste provides a framework for moving toward a sustainable program to manage our nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
Our goal is to develop solutions for the long-term, sustainable management of our nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. We are planning for an integrated waste management system to transport, store, and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste from commercial electricity generation, as well national defense activities. To achieve this goal, we are developing a process to site facilities collaboratively with the public, communities, stakeholders, and governments at the state, tribal, and local levels. We are seeking the help of all Americans in developing a consent-based approach to siting that is fair and reflective of public input. We are committed to finding a solution that protects our nation's citizens, communities, and the environment.
Join the Conversation
To launch the consent-based siting effort, we issued an Invitation for Public Comment in the Federal Register soliciting input on important considerations in designing a fair and effective process for siting. The comment period ended on July 31, 2016. To review some of the responses the Department received during the comment period, please click here. Check back soon for the rest of the public comments, as well as a summary input report. Key questions considered as part of the Invitation for Public Comment included:
How can the Department ensure that the process for selecting a site is fair?
Consent based siting seeks to ensure fairness in the distribution of costs, benefits, risks and responsibilities now and in future generations. How, in your view, can fairness be best assured by the process for selecting a site?
What models and experience should the Department use in designing the process?
The challenges and opportunities of site selection drive us to continue to learn from previous or ongoing examples. From your perspective, what experience and models do you think are the most relevant to consider and draw from in designing the process for selecting a site?
Who should be involved in the process for selecting a site, and what is their role?
The Department believes that there may be a wide range of communities who will want to learn more and be involved in selecting a site. Participation in the process for selecting a site carries important responsibilities. What are your views on who should be involved and the roles participants should have?
What information and resources do you think would facilitate your participation?
The Department is committed to ensuring people and communities have sufficient information and access to resources for engaging fully and effectively in siting. What information and resources would be essential to enable you to learn the most about and participate in the siting process?
What else should be considered?
These questions are a starting point for discussion on the design of the consent-based siting process. The Department would like to hear about and discuss any related questions, issues, and ideas that you think are important.
Activities and Events
On September 15, 2016, the Department will host a meeting to summarize the input received in the initial phase of public engagement on consent-based siting and discuss next steps in designing a process. The meeting will be held in Washington, DC at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington, D.C. Convention Center (900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001).
- Meeting Information: To learn more about this event and view an agenda, please click here.
- Register: To register for the meeting, please click here. Registration in advance is not required, but will help us to plan for the event.
- Webstream: To view the meeting via webstream, please click here on September 15th.
The Department recently concluded a series of eight public meetings around the country. The purpose of these meetings was to hear from the public, communities, states, Tribal Nations, and all interested stakeholders on what matters to you as we move forward in developing a consent-based process. These meetings included presentations from 40 diverse panelists and participation of about 600 people via webinar and in person. The meetings were held in:
- Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 21st. To view a video of the event and access meeting materials, please click here.
- Boise, Idaho on July 14th. To view a video of the event and access meeting materials, please click here.
- Tempe, Arizona on June 23rd. To view a video of the event and access meeting materials, please click here.
- Boston, Massachusetts on June 2nd. To view a video of the event and access meeting materials, please click here.
- Denver, Colorado on May 24th. To view a video of the event and access meeting materials, please click here.
- Sacramento, California on April 26th. To view a video of the event and access the meeting materials, please click here.
- Atlanta, Georgia on April 11th. To view a video of the event and access meeting materials, please click here.
- Chicago, Illinois on March 29th. To view a video of the event and access meeting materials, please click here.
Thank you to all who participated!
The Department also hosted a “kick-off meeting” for the consent-based siting effort in Washington, DC on January 20, 2016. You can find more information, including a summary and video of the event here.
Written comments submitted as part of the Invitation for Public Comment, along with input from the eight public meetings, will be documented in a draft report released later this year. The Department is planning to solicit comments on the draft report to ensure the content accurately reflects the input we receive and provide the opportunity for additional comments.
If you are unable to attend a public meeting or would like to further discuss ideas for consent-based siting, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin a conversation. We will do our best to accommodate requests and help arrange additional opportunities to engage.