Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Can Shale Safely Host U.S. Nuclear Waste?

Authors


Abstract

Even as cleanup efforts after Japan's Fukushima disaster offer a stark reminder of the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) stored at nuclear plants worldwide, the decision in 2009 to scrap Yucca Mountain as a permanent disposal site has dimmed hope for a repository for SNF and other high-level nuclear waste (HLW) in the United States anytime soon. About 70,000 metric tons of SNF are now in pool or dry cask storage at 75 sites across the United States [Government Accountability Office, 2012], and uncertainty about its fate is hobbling future development of nuclear power, increasing costs for utilities, and creating a liability for American taxpayers [Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, 2012].

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