Message to NWSC Members Outlining Future Activities

Hello NWSC Members!

First of all, I hope you had a very Merry Christmas – snow and all! Next, it’s on to what I hope will be a Happy New Year for everyone!

As you are aware, this is the last week of 2010, a year in which the NWSC and others stepped up the pressure on a number of issues in the nuclear waste arena. Lawsuits and other legal challenges began early in the year – and we are still waiting for some answers and decisions from the NRC and the courts on those issues.

Also during 2010, there was the formation of the “Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future”. The BRC has held hearings and meetings around the country on topics ranging from transportation to interim and long-term storage to reprocessing. The NWSC has been involved and engaged every step of the way in an effort to make sure that our positions and opinions were heard and made a part of the record. If all goes as has been hinted, the draft report from the BRC will be released during the early part of 2011.

The November 2010 elections brought about a change in control of the U.S. House, but not in the U.S. Senate. Although the Senate is more evenly split along party lines, the majority leader will remain the same.

What does all this mean to the NWSC? Well, the Executive Committee of the NWSC has been discussing that very question and we believe the NWSC has opportunities on several fronts. With the changes taking place in the U.S. House, the NWSC may send a small group to D.C. in January to meet with several of the members in new positions of leadership on committees where the waste issue and/or the transportation of waste is concerned.

When the entire NWSC meets in in D.C. in late February of March, our meeting agenda will be heavily focused on the report from the BRC because the report has been hinted at for two years – by everyone from the DOE to the White House – as the ‘roadmap’.

Hopefully, most of our positions will be addressed and included in the BRC report. If not, our NWSC meeting will be focused on how to influence changes in the BRC report to reflect our goals and guiding principles.

Speaking of our goals and guiding principles; they will need to be reviewed and updated, if necessary, especially in light of what may or may not be included in the Blue Ribbon Commission report.

There are other issues we will certainly want to discuss as a group when we are together in D.C., so please make plans to attend the NWSC meeting!

In the meantime, if there is a position or an issue that you feel the NWSC needs to consider and discuss in our meeting early next year, please forward it to me, Martez, or any of the others on the NWSC Executive Committee.

I have a strong belief that, very soon, the NWSC membership, working alongside other professionally-associated groups, will have an opportunity to make a real difference on the issues we have been collectively working on for many, many years. I believe the BRC report and the new Congress may not be willing to “kick the dry cask down the road” any longer. We have a chance to help them make the decision to move forward!

I hope you enjoy the rest of 2010! Please get plenty of rest, because we are going to be very busy very early in the New Year!

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