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WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman today announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking expressions of interest from the public and private sectors by March 31, 2006, to propose and evaluate sites suitable for demonstrating advanced recycling technologies under the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).
"The successful demonstration of GNEP recycling technologies will enable the U.S. and our international partners to substantially change the way that spent nuclear fuel is managed, assuring a safe, long-term, and environmentally clean energy supply for the U.S. and the world while greatly reducing proliferation concerns." Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell said. "Seeking the best ideas from the public and private sectors on where to build the demonstration facilities is a key step forward for GNEP."
Under DOE's plan, communities and private-public consortia are encouraged to consider participation in the GNEP technology demonstration and submit ideas on how DOE should best solicit, evaluate and award site evaluation study contracts for recycling technology demonstrations.
In accordance with Congressional direction, a total of $20 million, or $5 million at individual sites, is available in 2006 for site evaluation studies. The Fiscal Year 2006 Energy and Water Development Appropriations conference report appropriated funding and directed DOE to initiate a competition by June 30, 2006, to select one or more sites suitable for development of integrated recycling facilities. With today's announcement, DOE anticipates issuing a Request for Proposals this spring and awarding 90-day site evaluation studies in the summer 2006.
Three major elements of DOE's GNEP technology plan are to demonstrate a proliferation-resistant process to separate usable elements contained in commercial spent nuclear fuel from its waste elements, to develop and fabricate new fuels from the transuranic elements contained in spent fuel, and to demonstrate the ability to consume transuranic fuels in an advanced burner test reactor.
GNEP, part of President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, is a comprehensive strategy to increase U.S. and global energy security, encourage clean development around the world, reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation, and improve environmental quality. Accelerating the development and demonstration of new technologies for recycling spent nuclear fuel is a key aspect of the program.
Additional information on the GNEP program may be found on the Department's web site and gnep.energy.gov.
Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940