Congressional-Executive Interaction and the Nuclear Waste Repository Site Selection Process

by James A. Thurber, American Univ, Washington, United States,
Timothy C. Evanson, American Univ, Washington, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993

Abstract: The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) (P.L. 97-425) and the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987 (NWPAA) (Title V of P.L. 100-203) provide the framework for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) to find a permanent means for disposing of high-level nuclear waste in the United States. The focus of this study is the congressional decision-making process associated with passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987. The passage of NWPAA was a direct result of the failure of the policy adopted in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. This study analyzes the nature of congressional nuclear waste policy-making through the lens of subsystems theory. The data analysis is primarily based on confidential interviews with over fifty key actors in the nuclear waste policy subsystem as well as an analysis of primary source documents.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Waste disposal | Waste storage | Industrial wastes | Frames | Nuclear power

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