Current Social Systems Issues in the U.S. High Level Waste Management Program

by Thomas A. Cotton, JK Research Associates, Inc, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990


Major changes in the U.S. high level waste management program since passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) have weakened the social consensus about waste policy that existed at that time. Establishment of a stronger and more inclusive consensus is perhaps the most important social system issue now facing the waste program. The current period of reexamination of the program offers an opportunity for such an effort. Central to any consensus must be agreement about the relationship between the approach to repository development and interim storage of spent fuel, and in particular about the role of a Monitored Retrievable Storage (MRS) facility. A basis for agreement might be found by combining a more experimental approach to repository development with an early MRS facility.

Subject Headings: Waste management | Waste storage | Social factors | Radioactive wastes | Agreements and treaties | Energy storage | Resilient modulus | Nuclear power | United States

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