Bernie’s Team, LLC wishes to acknowledge and recognize Private Fuel Storage, LLC (PFS) for the efforts and financail commitments made on behalf of the Commercial Nuclear Power Generation industry. (www.privatefuelstorage.com).
Private Fuel Storage, LLC, is a consortium formed by eight large electric utility companies for the purpose of developing and managing a safe, clean, temporary storage facility for spent nuclear fuel rods. The equity members of the consortium are sharing in the cost of development and operation and will also share in any profits generated when the facility is in operation.
PFS members are:
- Genoa Fuel Tech
- American Electric Power
- Southern California Edison
- Southern Nuclear Company
- First Energy
- Florida Power and Light
Each of these companies owns nuclear power plants. Each is exploring various options, including the PFS centralized facility, for storing spent fuel until the federal government has a permanent repository ready.
Utilities that send spent fuel to the PFS facility, including those that are equity members of the consortium, will retain ownership of their own spent fuel while it is stored at the facility. Each fuel owner will be liable for fees to cover the costs of normal operations, any problems that could occur, and eventual decommissioning of the facility.
Because each utility incurs storage costs as long as their spent fuel is stored temporarily, they will continue to put pressure on the federal government to accept fuel at a federal facility as soon as possible.
The Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians, a sovereign nation under federal law, agreed to lease 820 acres of their 18,000-acre reservation in Skull Valley, Utah to Private Fuel Storage, LLC (PFS) for a safe, clean, temporary facility to store spent nuclear fuel rods.
The confidential lease agreement, which was approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, is conditioned on the environmental review process and granting of a license by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
For the Skull Valley Band, the PFS project is a much needed economic development opportunity that will provide the tribal government and its members many benefits. Because their reservation is located in Utah’s remote west desert and is surrounded by hazardous waste industries and military installations, other options for economic development are limited.
The Tribe’s Research
The Skull Valley Band studied nuclear waste storage for about six years before PFS even existed. In 1990, they received a grant from the federal government to investigate the feasibility of hosting a federal facility for temporary nuclear waste storage.The federal grant allowed them to travel to Japan, France, Sweden, Great Britain and many parts of the U.S. to see nuclear plants and storage facilities in operation.
When funding for the federal program was cancelled, the Skull Valley Band continued to study options for pursuing the storage project, including privatization. In 1996, they met representatives of PFS and began negotiating a formal lease agreement.
History of the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians
The Goshute Indians inhabited the western U.S. for thousands of years. At their peak population, the Goshutes numbered about 20,000. In 1863, the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians signed the treaty of Tooele Valley with the U.S. government. The Tribe’s 18,000-acre reservation was granted by executive orders with U.S. government in 1917 and 1918. Today there are about 560 Goshutes, and 114 belong to the Skull Valley Band. The remainder are part of the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation, a separate and distinct tribe with its own tribal government and reservation on the Utah-Nevada border.