THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 29, 2010
January 29, 2010
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY
SUBJECT: Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future
Expanding our Nation's capacity to generate clean nuclearenergy is crucial to our ability to combat climate change,enhance energy security, and increase economic prosperity. MyAdministration is undertaking substantial steps to expand thesafe, secure, and responsible use of nuclear energy. These efforts are critical to accomplishing many of my Administration'smost significant goals.
An important part of a sound, comprehensive, and long-termdomestic nuclear energy strategy is a well-considered policy formanaging used nuclear fuel and other aspects of the back end ofthe nuclear fuel cycle. Yet the Nation's approach, developedmore than 20 years ago, to managing materials derived fromnuclear activities, including nuclear fuel and nuclear waste,has not proven effective. Fortunately, over the past two decadesscientists and engineers in our country and abroad have learneda great deal about effective strategies for managing nuclearmaterial. My Administration is committed to using this advancedknowledge to meet the Government's obligation to dispose of ourNation's used nuclear material.
Accordingly, I request that you establish a Blue RibbonCommission on America's Nuclear Future (Commission) andappoint its members. Those members should include recognizedrepresentatives and experts from a range of disciplines andwith a range of perspectives, and may include participation ofappropriate Federal officials. The Commission's business should be conducted in an open and transparent manner.
The Commission should conduct a comprehensive review ofpolicies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle,including all alternatives for the storage, processing, anddisposal of civilian and defense used nuclear fuel and nuclearwaste. This review should include an evaluation of advanced fuel cycle technologies that would optimize energy recovery,resource utilization, and the minimization of materialsderived from nuclear activities in a manner consistent with
U.S. nonproliferation goals.
In performing its functions, the Commission should consider abroad range of technological and policy alternatives, and shouldanalyze the scientific, environmental, budgetary, economic,financial, and management issues, among others, surrounding eachalternative it considers. Where appropriate, the Commission mayalso identify potential statutory changes.
The Commission should provide an interim report to you within18 months of the date of this memorandum, and that report should be made available for public comment. The Commission should provide a final report to you within 24 months of the date ofthis memorandum. The Department of Energy shall provide fundingand administrative support for the Commission, as you determineappropriate, so that it can complete its functions within thesetime periods. Additionally, all executive departments andagencies shall provide such information and assistance to theCommission as you or the Commission may request for purposes ofcarrying out the Commission's functions, to the extent permitted by law. Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to requirethe disclosure of classified, proprietary, law enforcementsensitive, or other information protected under governing law. This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicablelaw and subject to the availability of appropriations. This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any rightor benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or inequity by any party against the United States, its departments,agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
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