September 30, 2008

Bush Reappoints U. Geochemist to Panel

University of Utah geochemist Thure Cerling was recently reappointed to a federal panel advising President Bush on radioactive waste.

The panel is mainly responsible for reviewing plans to store high- level radioactive waste in an underground repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev. The panel also evaluates packaging and transportation of waste.

Yucca Mountain was originally set to begin storing waste from the nation's nuclear power plants and military facilities in 1998, but that date has been delayed to at least 2018 due to escalating costs and other issues.

Although the appointment for a second term began in 2006, Cerling, who teaches geology, geophysics and biology, said White House officials "didn't get around to the second appointment until now."

He has been serving on the panel since 2002. His second term extends to April 19, 2010.

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