As the world marks the fifth anniversary of the Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, there are uncomfortable questions about how the US stores radioactive material, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. After more than 30 years and at least US$11 billion of spending, Yucca Mountain remains an abandoned hole in the ground, another tombstone to the unsolved, and potentially unsolvable, problem of radioactive waste. In 2010 the Obama administration moved to abandon the Yucca Mountain dump, officially canceling it in April 2011. Had it gone forward, the projected cost would have been at least US$96 billion. Consequently, almost all of the high-level radioactive waste produced in the US by commercial nuclear power plants remains stored on site, even at those plants that no longer operate. The reactor buildings themselves may be gone, but the waste casks remain, providing an open invitation to sabotage or attack and vulnerable to leakage, accident or natural disaster.
China Dialogue 11th March 2016 read more »