In an article for Forbes online, staff reporter, Christopher Helman, interviewed Dr. James Conca, senior scientist with RJ Lee Group’s Hanford, Wash. facility on his thoughts on the January 26th Blue Ribbon Commission’s final report on what to do with America’s hundreds of thousands of tons of nuclear waste. Dr. Conca is a nuclear waste expert and worked for many years as a regulatory scientist on the Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain Project, as well as the New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and is intimately knowledgeable about the issues involved and the hurdles to be overcome in finding a lasting solution to our atomic legacy.
According to Dr. Conca, “We know where to put nuclear waste, how to put it there, how much it will cost, and how well it will work. And it’s all about the geology.” He noted that most of the problems stem from confusion on the part of the public and their elected officials, not from a lack of scientific knowledge. In summary, Dr. Conca concluded, “The recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission (BCR), and others that address energy and research, outline an optimistic path forward for an essential industry that will be a significant part of our energy mix well into the future. The BRC’s recommendations provide a path forward that everyone can accept where only strife and discord existed before. No new laws have to be written, just clarified.”