A series of national workshops on nuclear energy innovations, held in March 2015, focused on nuclear energy concepts that are already developed but not yet mature. One of the main conclusions of the synthesis report is as follows: “One of the most frequently cited reasons for the lack of innovation in the field of nuclear energy is the difficulty of accessing the facilities and infrastructure necessary to conduct highly specialized and often very dangerous studies, which are fundamental to ensuring the safety and reliability of nuclear reactors. The concept of a test bed could range from basic research platforms, where separate effects testing is carried out to reduce technical risks for a nuclear energy development technology, to the commercialization of large-scale reactor prototypes. Testbeds linked to national laboratories and equipped with certain technical skills could be an effective bridge between universities and industrial adoption. The United States has never been a party to an IAEA or OECD convention on liability to third parties in the event of a nuclear accident. In 1997, the United States, as a contracting party to the IAEA, signed the Convention on Additional Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), which sets out additional amounts beyond the first stage payments of the Vienna Convention to be made jointly by States parties on the basis of installed nuclear capacity. Subsequently, the United States ratified the CCS and, to achieve this and bring national agreements into line with it, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007, which contained provisions that were unique at the international level. The SCC is not yet in force, but as Japan passed a law to ratify it in November 2014, it will likely come into force in 2015. “There`s no CO2 pollution, there`s no greenhouse gases, you can`t use it for proliferation [nuclear proliferation] — it has so many benefits,” he said. In June 2013, NRC released its 580-page draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIA) on Waste Confidence, which focuses on the storage of used fuel at power plant and other sites for extended periods of time. Generic impact determinations that would be applicable indefinitely to a large number of existing and future fuel storage sites are being attempted. Following public comment, a final project and EMIS for additional spent fuel storage was approved by NRC in August 2014.
It is expected to be published in September and enter into force in October 2014. NRC Commissioners also approved the waiver suspensions introduced in 2012 in the final decisions on combined construction and operating licences for new reactors and renewal of operating licences for existing units, as well as for the renewal of licences to operate independent spent fuel storage facilities at reactor sites and for early site licences. In this context, the University of Texas proposed in 2008 to build a $500 million high-temperature reactor on the Andrews campus, based on General Atomics` modular helium reactor (MHR), involving DOE`s Los Alamos National Laboratory. This 25 MWt High Temperature Test and Education (HT3R) reactor energy research facility was not built. In the U.S., first-tier payments would be processed under the Price Anderson Act, under which each nuclear site is required to purchase $375 million in financial liability coverage (as of 2011) provided by a private insurance pool, American Nuclear Insurers (ANI). First-stage payments in other countries would be treated in the same way by national insurance companies. But uniquely among CSC parties, under the U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, if an accident occurred outside the United States, nuclear suppliers would have to reimburse the federal government for the amount allocated to the U.S. under the CCS formula for secondary coverage, and the DOE estimated that suppliers could have contingent liabilities of up to $150 million.* A survey Gallup more general March 2010 (N = 1014) on energy found that 62% for the use of nuclear energy, including 28% and 33% against, the most favorable figures since the Gallup poll began in 1994. However, only 51% of Democratic voters were in favor.
(Gallup 3/22/10) A Gallup poll from early March 2011, shortly before the Fukushima accident, showed 57% for and 38% against, and in March 2012 (N = 1024) still 57% in favor with 40% against (men: 72%-27%, women 42%-51%). When it comes to factory safety, surveys showed consistent positive opinions of 56-58% over 2009-2012, but men and women were equally divided. Subd. 3b. Nuclear power station; New construction prohibited; License. (a) The Commission may not issue a certificate of necessity for the construction of a new nuclear power plant. The report recommended a licence-based approach to the location of future nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities. Second, responsibility for the U.S. radioactive waste management program should be transferred to a new organization independent of the DoE. Third, the way in which funds already provided to the Nuclear Waste Management Fund are managed in the federal budget should be modified to ensure that they are used for their intended purposes.