ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Nearly all of the members of the federal Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB) are serving on expired terms, and it was unclear this week when the situation might be resolved.
Nine of the current 10 members remain on the scientific advisory board past the end of their terms and one spot is vacant following the January 2017 resignation of then-Chairman Rod Ewing, NWTRB Executive Director Nigel Mote told Weapons Complex Morning Briefing on the sidelines of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Spent Fuel Management Seminar.
All serving board members were appointed during the Obama administration, mostly in September 2012 and July 2014. The newest board member is Tissa Illangasekare, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the Colorado School of Mines appointed by then-President Barack Obama on Jan. 18, 2017.
The National Academy of Sciences submits the list of candidates to the White House for selection and appointment by the president, generally to four-year terms. The part-time board members do not require Senate confirmation.
The National Academy and White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment by deadline Wednesday regarding whether new candidates have been submitted.
The board was established by the 1987 amendment to the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act to “evaluate the technical and scientific validity of activities undertaken by the Department of Energy” related to management of nuclear waste. Its recent work has included reports on geologic repositories and DOE management of spent fuel. The board’s next meeting, scheduled for April 24 to 25 in San Francisco, will cover repository science and operations from international underground research laboratory collaborations.