As anti-nuclear activists celebrate victory in the closing of the aging Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant Station in Plymouth in 2019, a larger and potentially more important battle has begun to take shape over what to do with the spent nuclear material that now sits at Pilgrim and nuclear facilities around the country. The absence of a cohesive national approach to the issue over several decades has forced many plants, including Pilgrim, to stockpile spent fuel rods and other radioactive materials on site, creating a situation as dangerous as it is foolish. Pilgrim and other nuclear power stations in the U.S. have become de facto nuclear waste dumps. The U.S. Department of Energy held a meeting in Boston last week to solicit local thoughts on something called “consent-based siting,” a plan to create interim storage facilities around the country in communities that are willing to host the waste while Washington continues to fiddle its way through the development of a comprehensive solution. At stake is some 70,000 metric tons of radioactive waste that has been generated by plants such as Pilgrim. At one point, the federal government appeared to be closing in on a solution to the problem with a plan to store the byproducts at a massive facility in Nevada. But the Yucca Mountain site, which had long been thought of as an ideal location for the spent fuel rods and other waste, was removed from consideration in 2010, with no Plan B in sight.The truth is, there are few communities in the U.S. that would welcome the introduction of highly toxic waste, much of which could also be a desirable target for would-be terrorists.
Energy Central 12th June 2016 read more »