WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) — The U.S. effort to create a nuclear waste program is so focused on technological issues it is failing to address public mistrust of the efforts, experts say.
Researchers from Washington State University and others around the country say that for the effort to fix the country’s stalled nuclear waste program to succeed, a special White House panel on high-level radioactive waste needs to focus more on the social and political acceptability of its solutions, a university release said Thursday.
“While scientific and technical analyses are essential, they will not and arguably should not carry the day unless they address, substantively and procedurally, the issues that concern the public,” a report prepared by the researchers says.
The failure of 10 presidential administrations to develop a successful waste-disposal program has left some 60,000 tons of high-level waste accumulated in the United States, the researchers say.
President Obama has appointed a 15-member panel to review the storage, processing and disposal of nuclear materials.
Report author Eugene Rosa, a Washington State University professor of sociology, says the panel is dominated by science and technology experts and politicians.
But a successful nuclear waste program, he says, “will ultimately require public acceptability. Current efforts by the administration, such as the composition of its blue ribbon panel, indicate that this important element may be overlooked.”
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