ARLINGTON, VA. — The two companies aiming to build privately-owned interim storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel should apply for financial aid under a multi-million-dollar Department of Energy program, a senior agency official said here Tuesday at a conference.
Holtec and Interim Storage Partners (ISP) are “welcome to apply to the funding opportunity announcement,” Kim Petry, acting deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition at DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, said Tuesday at the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management’s annual Spent Fuel Management Seminar.
DOE is until Jan. 31 accepting bids on a $26 million funding opportunity announcement aimed at bringing together communities and stakeholders to hash out strategies for siting a federally-run interim storage facility. The agency has said that it is not seeking a willing host community at the moment, but is instead creating a “consent-based siting consortia” to facilitate that process.
Holtec and ISP, which are in the latter stages of regulatory approval for their own proposed sites, would be useful participants in DOE’s consent-based siting panel, Petry said. “They are trying to build something in a community already,” she said, “so we welcome their participation in the process.”
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the agency responsible for licensing private interim storage sites, has said that it could approve Holtec’s project in Lea County, N.M., as soon as February. NRC in September 2021 licensed ISP’s proposed site in Andrews County, Texas.