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COMMENTS: Consent-Based Process for transport, storage, disposal of commercial spent nuclear fuel and high-level defense radioactive waste

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October 31, 2016

Mr. John Kotek
Acting Assistant Secretary
Office of Nuclear Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20585

Re: Docket Number DOE-HQ-2016-0023, Designing a Consent-Based Siting Process: Summary of Public Input

Dear Mr. Kotek:

The Western Governors’ Association (WGA) appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the input received by the Department of Energy (DOE) regarding design of a consent-based process to establish an integrated waste management system to transport, store, and dispose of commercial spent nuclear fuel and high-level defense radioactive waste (81 FR 63475, September 15, 2016).

WGA represents the Governors of 19 western states and three U.S.-flag islands. The Association is an instrument of the Governors for bipartisan policy development, information exchange and collective action on issues of critical importance to the western United States.

WGA Policy Resolution 2014-06, Storage and Disposal of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel, outlines the Governors’ position on the importance of state involvement in the siting of any radioactive waste storage or disposal facility. Specifically, the policy states that no centralized interim storage facility shall be located within the geographic boundaries of a Western state or U.S. flag island without the written consent of the Governor in whose state or territory the facility is to be located.

The Governors also “strongly encourage the U.S. Department of Energy to work cooperatively with the states in implementing a policy to ensure the safe transportation, storage, disposition of [and] disposal of spent nuclear fuel and HLW [high-level waste] and to comply with agreements which have been negotiated and entered into by a state’s Governor regarding the management, transportation and storage of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.” 

Western Governors recognize the national importance of implementing a responsible disposal pathway for radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. We look forward to working with DOE to realize this goal

Respectfully,

Steve Bullock
Governor of Montana
Chair, WGA

Dennis Daugaard
Governor of South Dakota
Vice Chair, WGA

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