Wasted opportunities: resolving the impasse in United States nuclear waste policy

Funk, Alex and Sovacool, Benjamin K (2013) Wasted opportunities: resolving the impasse in United States nuclear waste policy. Energy Law Journal, 34 (1). pp. 113-147. ISSN 0270-9163

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Abstract

This article examines the problem of nuclear waste disposal and its implications for the future of the nuclear industry in the United States. Following a brief introduction, Part II investigates the process that generates spent nuclear fuel and discusses the current legal framework established by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA). It also provides a brief overview of Yucca Mountain, succinctly tracing the project from its origins to the present. Part III summarizes developments in U.S. nuclear waste policy from 2002 to today, notably the creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America’s Nuclear Future. Part IV discusses three of the central recommendations from the BRC’s final report. Part V analyzes available alternatives to Yucca Mountain and discusses the costs and benefits of each. Part VI provides conclusions pertaining to the sufficiency of the BRC’s recommendations and suggestions for policymakers. In following this structure, the article provides one of the first comprehensive critiques of the BRC’s suggestions and examines their effectiveness. Furthermore, it provides a necessary critical evaluation of the current statutory structure developed to address the nuclear waste disposal issue, and highlights major areas that policymakers must address if nuclear power is to have a future in the United States.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Benjamin Sovacool
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2016 13:56
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2016 15:52
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58360
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