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Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 12:41pm

Commission Plans Nuclear Tour

Updated: 3 years ago.
A federal panel charged with finding new ways to store high level nuclear waste will tour the Savannah River Site near Augusta Thursday. The Blue Ribbon Commission for America’s Nuclear Future was created by the Obama administration last year after it scrapped plans for a waste repository at Yucca Mountain near Las Vegas. (Image courtesy DOE)

The commission has until June to come up new strategies for dealing with the thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors across the country that would have gone to Nevada.

SRS is the only facility in the Department of Energy Complex where radioactive waste is converted into glass for storage. Officials say the commission’s visit will allow them to see the process first hand.

But Tom Clements of environmental group Friends of the Earth says he’s concerned SRS is being eyed as a potential replacement for Yucca Mountain.

"There are those who are really pushing for Savannah River Site to now step up to the plate and become the place where spent nuclear fuel is brought."

On Friday the commission will hold a public meeting in Augusta to hear from state politicians, industries and environmental groups.

They will also hear about plant Vogtle’s expansion. There Southern Company plans to build the first new nuclear reactors in decades

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