Science Is Important, but Politics Drives the Siting of Nuclear Waste Repositories

Comment on “Can Shale Safely Host U.S. Nuclear Waste?”



In 1982, I worked on the Nuclear Waste Policy Act as an AGU Congressional Science Fellow tasked with assisting a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. When I recently read the suggestion that clay-rich strata (shales) could be a viable medium for high-level nuclear waste (HLW) disposal [Neuzil, 2013], I could not help but remember the insights I gained more than 30 years ago from my time on the Hill.