Study: Not so fast on GNEP

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By Roger Snodgrass

At the same time, the committee suggested slowing down the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, a global effort led by the U.S. to reprocess spent fuel for use by partner nations.

The National Academy of Sciences study was commissioned by DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy, to focus on five elements of its program, which has altogether experienced a 70-percent spurt of growth since 2003.

The scientists and engineers of the academies backed a joint DOE-industry initiative, Nuclear Power 2010, as its highest priority. The program is supposed to identify appropriate sites in the U.S., help accelerate designs and safety approvals for advanced light water reactor plants, and speed up regulatory approvals with one-step construction and operating licenses.

The authors said good progress has been made in some areas on NP 2010, but noted that no funding has been requested and the pace is "far slower" than was proposed.

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