ASME.MVC.Models.DynamicPage.ContentDetailViewModel ContentDetailViewModel
House Science Committee Hosts Hearing on R&D Opportunities in DOE's Nuclear Waste Cleanup Efforts

House Science Committee Hosts Hearing on R&D Opportunities in DOE's Nuclear Waste Cleanup Efforts

On July 13, the House Committee on Science, Technology, and Space held a hearing to discuss an increase in research and development (R&D) opportunities for the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (OEM). Witnesses for this hearing included Mr. William “Ike” White, Senior Advisor of OEM; Dr. Vahid Majidi, Executive Vice President and Director of the Savannah River National Laboratory; Dr. John Plodinec, Vice Chair of the Committee of the Independent Assessment of Science and Technology for the Department of Energy’s Defense Environmental Cleanup Program; and Mr. Nathan Anderson, Director of Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Ranking Member Randy Weber (R-TX) both emphasized the importance of improving efficiency and lowering costs in the nuclear waste cleanup process by leveraging R&D opportunities. These sentiments were shared by all four of the witnesses in their opening testimonies. The hearing also presented recommendations to overcome current shortcomings in OEM’s operation, including creating a comprehensive monitoring system for the office’s R&D investments and establishing a Congress-appointed leadership position in DOE for environmental cleanup.
OEM’s mission has decades of work to continue and, according to Mr. White, the office accounts for at least $400 billion in environmental liabilities. Mr. White stated, “Given the magnitude of the remaining cleanup mission, Environmental Management must keep developing innovative approaches to accelerate progress, increase efficiency, and protect human health and the environment.”
Representative Sean Casten, who spoke at ASME’s Policy Impact event in May, further emphasized the urgency of the “nuclear waste problem” and the need for more accurate math in making an effective cleanup process. Other themes that emerged from the congressional questioning included the importance of DEI initiatives to enforce the OEM workforce, collaboration between DOE’s National Laboratories and OEM, and the growing threat of climate change against OEM’s nuclear waste cleanup efforts.
To learn more about the hearing and to watch a recording, visit here.

You are now leaving