02/11/2010 - 13:49

Allison Macfarlane named to Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future

Allison Macfarlane, an associate professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University and chair of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board, has been named by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.

The newly formed commission is chaired by former Indiana Democratic Cong. Lee Hamilton and former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft. Secretary Chu was directed by President Barack Obama to establish the commission to review policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle--including alternatives for the storage, processing, and disposal of civilian and military spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. The commission's 15 members include scientists, industry representatives, and former public officials such as former New Mexico Republican Sen. Pete V. Domenici, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Richard Meserve, director of MIT's Energy Initiative Ernie Moniz, and Exelon CEO John Rowe.

"Finding an acceptable long-term solution to our used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste storage needs is vital to the economic, environmental and security interests of the United States," said Hamilton, according to an Energy Department press release. "This will be a thorough, comprehensive review based on the best available science. I'm looking forward to working with the many distinguished experts on this panel to achieve a consensus on the best path forward."

The commission is expected to produce an interim report in 18 months and a full report in 24 months.