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Environment & Climate Change

The nuclear industry blames government for no permanent way to store nuclear waste

According to Samuel Brinton of the American Nuclear Society, there are more than 75,000 metric tons of nuclear waste in storage all over the country.
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According to Samuel Brinton of the American Nuclear Society, there are more than 75,000 metric tons of nuclear waste in storage all over the country.

The nuclear power industry has a problem. It has no way to dispose of spent nuclear fuel rods, which are high-level nuclear waste.

Since 1987, the plan was a facility in Nevada known as Yucca Mountain. The Obama administration basically put that project on hold. 

Now the Trump administration indicates Yucca Mountain is back on the agenda. In the president’s proposed budget, $120 million is set aside for restarting the approval process. And, earlier this month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted two to one to begin "information gathering activities" related to the proposed nuclear waste depository site.
Samuel Brinton, a nuclear engineer with the American Nuclear Society, joined Stateside to explain what high-level nuclear waste is, how it's stored, and how much damage it could cause in the event of an accident. You'll also hear Brinton give his take on risks associated with Yucca Mountain, the proposed nuclear waste depository site.

*This story was originally broadcast on April 14, 2017.

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