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13 Welcoming Remarks, October 3, 2005 Milton Leenson National Academy of Engineering I would like to welcome you to this miniworkshop, a follow-on to the major workshops we held in Moscow and Vienna on the topic of an international storage site for spent nuclear fuel. This series of workshops has been conducted under the joint auspices of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Acad- emies with financial support from George Russell. In past workshops we explored issues of technology, liability, law, and safeguards. While the overall topic is an international storage site, we have used a site in Russia as the first example of a site to host an international spent fuel storage operation not directly linked to a reprocessing plant. The issues have been identified, and in most cases the path forward to resolve the issues has been identified. The issue not resolved is the ap- proval required from the United States by most potential user countries, an issue we will hear about here. We will also hear an update on activities in Russia. The Russian government has been taking this subject very seriously, as indicated by its announcement in Vienna that Russia would not put its fuel in the international storage facility. The result is to improve the robustness of International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring since without Russian fuel questions of sovereignty that often complicate inspection should be easily resolved. I think we all recog- nize the safety and security benefits of making sure that spent nuclear fuel, now literally scattered all over the world, be consolidated in secure and monitored storage. The challenge is how to do it and how to make it happen. 9