Fence at Trinity Site
Photo: Charles, www.flickr.com/photos/cl191/4515541717

The seminar will be held at 221 Nassau Street, 2nd Floor, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

You are welcome to bring your lunch. There is no need to RSVP.


Siting nuclear waste repositories – high- or low-level – is a difficult task. Many countries try and fail and try again. Australia is no exception to this rule. It has been seeking a nuclear waste site for its low- and intermediate-level waste since the late 1970s. Countries that have successfully sited these facilities have found that the affected communities must support the waste repository. These communities can take an active part in the siting process and experience benefits from the waste facility. Australia has taken a somewhat unique approach to siting, in allowing landowners to volunteer their land. This presentation will provide a snapshot of the current state of affairs in finding and developing a nuclear waste disposal facility in Australia.

About the speaker: Dr. Allison M. Macfarlane is currently a Wilson Center scholar for the 2019-2020 academic year. She is Professor of Science Policy and International Affairs at the George Washington University, Director of the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy and Director of the International Science and Technology Policy Master’s program at the University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She was recently the 2018 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Applied Public Policy at Flinders University and Carnegie Mellon Adelaide. She served as Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from July 2012 through December 2014. Dr. Macfarlane holds a PhD in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSc degree in geology from the University of Rochester. She has held fellowships at Radcliffe College, MIT, Stanford, and Harvard Universities. She has been on the faculty at Georgia Tech and George Mason University. From 2010 to 2012 she served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, created by the Obama Administration to develop a national strategy for the nation's high-level nuclear waste. She serves on National Academy of Sciences panels and has chaired the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. In 2006, MIT Press published a book she co-edited, Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation's High-Level Nuclear Waste.