U.S. Inability To Address Nuclear Waste Harms Environmental Progress

Jeff Luse wrote in Newsweek about the need to address spent nuclear fuel.

If you need your garbage collected, you call Waste Management. But if you’re a nuclear power plant operator, don’t bother calling the federal government—in 40 years they still haven’t made a pickup.

In 1982, Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA), which directed the Department of Energy to site, build, and operate a repository for the disposal of high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel. Since that time, political paralysis has prevented the government from creating a storage site, which has left spent fuel in communities that did not consent to its presence and were promised its removal. Overcoming this decades-long failure is critical to reviving nuclear power and achieving climate goals without unfairly burdening local populations or taxpayers.

The federal government’s inability to fulfill its legal obligation has not stopped the private sector from safely managing spent nuclear fuel. For over 30 years power plant operators have stored spent fuel with zero incidents of radioactive leakage or death. Since the 1950s, the U.S. has generated a little over 90,000 metric tons of waste, which would be easy to permanently store and manage. If it were all stacked up, it would fit on a single football field at a depth of less than 10 yards.

While the industry’s safety in the handling of spent fuel is commendable, the status quo is not sustainable for taxpayers or the environment.

Read the full article here.

Subscribe to our exclusive email designed for conservatives who care about climate.

Help us promote free market solutions for climate change.

Thank you for signing up

Help us promote sensible solutions for both planet and prosperity.