A commission created to help resolve the impasse over the disposal of US nuclear waste will propose establishing one or more sites where used reactor fuel could be stored in steel and concrete structures on the earth’s surface for decades. The commission will also recommend opening a new effort to find a burial site, members said, and suggest that it be led by an organization that is independent of the Department of Energy, which has been working on the waste disposal effort for decades. Commission members say they will suggest securing the assent of local and state governments before a burial site is chosen. With a selection process that is based more on science than politics and the promise of local economic benefit, a host site could potentially be found, some of them said. Yucca Mountain was chosen by Congress in 1987 after a battle driven by not-in-my-backyard politics.
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