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Working Group Report on – Space Nuclear Power Systems and Nuclear Waste Technology R&D

"Even though one cannot anticipate the answers in basic research, the return on the public's investment can be maximized through long-range planning of the most promising avenues to explore and the resources needed to explore them." (p. v) "Pursuit of this goal entails developing new technologies and advanced facilities, educating young scientists, training a technical workforce, and contributing to the broader science and technology enterprise?." (p. vi) Ref:: "Nuclear Science: A Long Range Plan", DOE/NSF, Feb. 1996.

The purpose of this effort is to develop the first iteration of a long-range plan for nuclear energy in the Department of Energy. It is desirable to update, expand, and improve this plan every few years. The focus must NOT be on next year's budget nor that for the next few years. Rather, the focus is on what is necessary to develop over the next 10-15 years. The approach to be taken is to begin with DOE as a whole, then narrow to NE.

This group addressed long-term planning for disposition of radioactive materials, development of space nuclear systems, and general needs related to these areas. The following are the conclusions and recommendations from the two days of discussions. In addition, specific comments from the discussions are included to provide amplification of the conclusions and recommendations.

Although the conclusions and recommendations are not in all cases a consensus, they are in every case the view of a large majority of the participants.