The US nuclear arsenal—which contains approximately 40 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads—has been built over decades, producing about 90 million gallons of radioactive waste. The United States also had 56 operational nuclear power plants at the end of October 2020 that together have produced over 80 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel. That waste is stored either in steel-lined concrete pools of water or in dry storage casks made of steel and concrete. Meanwhile, climate change is contributing to the intensity of drought, heat waves, heavy rain, flooding, hurricanes, and winter storms—all of which wreak havoc on infrastructure and the environment. The US response to potential climate impacts on the country’s various nuclear activities has, in the eyes of many experts, fallen far short of what it needs to be.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 20th April 2021 read more »