In the aftermath of Yucca’s mothballing, the doe has pursued a diverse strategy of nuclear waste management that includes tentative plans for consolidated interim storage facilities, tests of deep boreholes as another possible long-term storage technique, and the development of “consent-based” siting protocols to gain support from municipal and state governments. But these measures will take us only so far. Experts agree that a geologic repository remains the only viable long-term solution for disposing of the majority of commercial nuclear waste. Soon a new president will occupy the White House, and there will be a renewed opportunity to address the urgent issue of the U.S.’s nuclear waste. The decision to close Yucca Mountain must be revisited, and the selection and characterization of alternative sites should be aggressively accelerated. In the interim, more spent fuel should be moved from cooling pools to dry casks, which offer better protection against hazards.
Scientific American 1st April 2016 read more »