Foufoula-Georgiou Contributes to U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board Report, Issued Today

April 30, 2021 - UC Irvine’s Distinguished Professor Efi Foufoula-Georgiou serves on the nine-member U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, which today released a report to the U.S. Congress and the Secretary of Energy regarding its recommendations for managing the nation’s nuclear waste.

Titled “Six Overarching Recommendations for How to Move the Nation’s Nuclear Waste Management Program Forward,” the report is the synthesis of the board’s nearly decade-long review of the U.S. Department of Energy’s activities related to the management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. It can be viewed here.   

Foufoula-Georgiou, associate dean of research and innovation for the Samueli School of Engineering and professor of civil and environmental engineering, has served on the review board since 2012.

“The U.S. has accumulated one of the largest inventories of spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear plants and government operations, as well as a large inventory of defense related high-level radioactive waste. A long-term solution for the disposal of this waste is urgently needed,” said Foufoula-Georgiou.  “Nuclear energy could be part of our net-zero carbon future to mitigate climate change, and the lack of a permanent repository impedes progress and highlights generational inequities.”

In this report, board members offer high-level recommendations to the DOE which, if adopted as core principles, will support the creation of a robust, safe and effective nuclear waste management capability for the nation, including laying the groundwork for a successful geologic repository.   

The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board is an independent federal agency in the executive branch. It was established in the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987 to perform ongoing evaluation of the technical and scientific validity of DOE activities related to the management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Board members are appointed by the president from a list of nominees submitted by the National Academy of Sciences.

– Lori Brandt

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