Message emailed by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy to environmental watchdogs on March 18, 2016:
On March 29th, in downtown Chicago, the Department of Energy will host the first of eight public meetings around the country on its consent-based siting initiative for facilities needed to manage our nation’s nuclear waste. We hope to hear from the public, communities, states, Tribal governments, and others on what matters to you as the Department moves forward in developing a consent-based process for siting facilities needed to store, transport, and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
This first meeting will be held at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center, from 12 noon until 6:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The program will include a presentation from senior DOE officials and a panel session with several experts providing diverse perspectives on the main issues that need to be resolved in the design of a consent-based process. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions to the Department and panelists as well as make public comments at the end of the meeting.
The Department of Energy is interested in hearing your views on:
- How can the Department ensure that the process for selecting a site is fair?
- What models and experience should the Department use in designing the process?
- Who should be involved in the process for selecting a site, and what is their role?
- What information and resources do you think would facilitate your participation?
- What else should be considered?
In addition, DOE has published an Invitation for Public Comment in the Federal Register seeking input on these same questions. The input provided through this notice and the eight public meetings will inform the design of consent-based siting process, which will in turn serve as a framework for engaging with potential host communities in the future. Ultimately, DOE aims to work collaboratively with the public and interested communities to begin identifying potential partners in managing the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. You can read the Department’s news release here.
Registration is encouraged in order to assist our logistics planning. To register, please visit the Chicago Registration Page. Those unable to attend can view the meeting online through a live webcast that can be accessed through the registration page or the direct link Chicago Webcast. Unfortunately remote viewers will not be able to ask live questions or participate in the discussions through the webcast in order to maximize opportunities for in-person attendees. DOE plans to hold a national webinar in the coming months to accommodate those unable to attend the public meetings in person, and we will post information on our website when it becomes available. Following the meeting, all materials including a transcript and video will be posted on our website energy.gov/consentbasedsiting.
We look forward to your participation and hope to see you in Chicago!
Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy