Reid praised the panel’s formation.
“President Obama and I have worked closely to stop dumping taxpayer money into Yucca, and I have fought hard to ensure Yucca Mountain is dead. This panel of experts proposing other options for nuclear waste is the logical next step in that process, and I thank Secretary Chu for working with me to ensure Nevada’s safety,” Reid said in a statement.
But the panel drew criticism from the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a watchdog group.
“The Commission faces a huge credibility problem. It includes no one from communities downstream and downwind of major nuclear weapons sites,” said Susan Gordon, Director of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. The group also proclaimed itself disappointed that the panel contains “no outspoken critics of nuclear power.”
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the panel is well-equipped to address an issue that is vital to the future of nuclear power, which the administration increasingly supports.
“The Administration is committed to promoting nuclear power in the United States and developing a safe, long-term solution for the management of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. The work of the Blue Ribbon Commission will be invaluable to this process,” Chu said.
The panel is tasked with providing an interim report in 18 months and final recommendations in two years. Here’s the list of members and affiliations, courtesy of DoE:
• Lee Hamilton, Co-Chair
Lee Hamilton represented Indiana's 9th congressional district from January 1965-January 1999. During his time in Congress, Hamilton served as the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and chaired the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He is currently president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University. He is a member of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board and the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council. Previously, Hamilton served as Vice Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission).
• Brent Scowcroft, Co-Chair
Brent Scowcroft is President of The Scowcroft Group, an international business advisory firm. He has served as the National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. From 1982 to 1989, he was Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm.
Scowcroft served in the military for 29 years, and concluded at the rank of Lieutenant General following service as the Deputy National Security Advisor. Out of uniform, he continued in a public policy capacity by serving on the President's Advisory Committee on Arms Control, the Commission on Strategic Forces, and the President's Special Review Board, also known as the Tower Commission.
• Mark Ayers, President, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO
• Vicky Bailey, Former Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Former IN PUC Commissioner; Former Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs
• Albert Carnesale, Chancellor Emeritus and Professor, UCLA
• Pete V. Domenici, Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center; former U.S. Senator (R-NM)
• Susan Eisenhower, President, Eisenhower Group, Inc.
• Chuck Hagel, Former U.S. Senator (R-NE)
• Jonathan Lash, President, World Resources Institute
• Allison Macfarlane, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
• Richard A. Meserve, President, Carnegie Institution for Science, and former Chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
• Ernie Moniz, Professor of Physics and Cecil & Ida Green Distinguished Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Per Peterson, Professor and Chair, Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California - Berkeley
• John Rowe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Exelon Corporation
• Phil Sharp, President, Resources for the Future