June 12, 2023

The Department of Energy Selects Good Energy to Spearhead Community Engagement for Spent Fuel Storage Sites

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the selection of Good Energy Collective and its partners for an award to engage communities around the United States on the department’s consent-based siting process for federal interim waste storage facilities. 

From its inception, Good Energy Collective has consistently advocated for a comprehensive solution to the country's long-term nuclear waste management plan, centering equity and community preferences on the siting of waste storage facilities.

“When we talk with environmental justice advocates about nuclear energy, one of their main concerns is our nation’s failure to find a solution for our nuclear waste,” said Jessica Lovering, executive director of Good Energy Collective. “The challenge is that nuclear waste is a political problem, not a technical one, and we need the government to lead. That’s why we are so pleased that Congress and the Department of Energy have shown their commitment to address nuclear waste and look forward to working with the department and our fellow awardees in these efforts.”

“We’re excited to begin this new line of community-serving work on the important issue of nuclear waste storage, said Ginger Sigmon, managing director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at the University of Notre Dame. “With Good Energy Collective, our university scholars will provide local stakeholders with subject-matter expertise and ensure they have all of the information necessary to make informed decisions on whether storing spent nuclear fuel is right for their community.” 

During the award term, Good Energy Collective will build capacity in multiple U.S. communities toward the siting of a consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel. Good Energy Collective and its partners will convene locally-driven conversations on the benefits and challenges of hosting nuclear waste and identify best practices for government-led community engagements.

“We’re honored that the Department of Energy has picked our coalition to undertake this important work,” said Cleo Schroer, policy analyst with Good Energy Collective. “A just future for nuclear mandates a just fuel cycle, and that means understanding communities’ preferences on whether and how to advance spent fuel storage in their backyards. This award will enable communities to express what matters to them.”