The Obama administration may be drawing up plans to store nuclear waste at multiple sites around the country, instead of in a central depository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
As I noted last week, Obama’s budget cuts money to the controversial Yucca Mountain site. Earlier this week, in a U.S. Senate hearing, energy secretary Steven Chu confirmed that the administration no longer considers the site an option. Concerns have been raised about the safety of the site, which apparently was chosen without much careful study. However, the government has an obligation to do something with the waste. The government has collected tens of billions of dollars to create a permanent facility to store waste, one that by law was supposed to be ready by 1998. Instead, utilities have had to pay to store the waste themselves.
Now more details are coming out about what the Obama administration plans to do.
From Energy Washington Week (subscription required):
The Obama administration is crafting an alternative nuclear waste storage program that relies on a mixture of interim and multiple longer-term storage facilities, but no “permanent” waste facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, according to DOE Secretary Steven Chu. The prospects of such a plan–to be developed within a year–raises a host of concerns that states and others are voicing over the legality of such a move and what it means for the multibillion-dollar nuclear-waste fund, say stakeholders …
Details of the administration’s plan are still forthcoming, but Chu said it would make use of available and new interim storage sites and a process of solidifying waste that he says NRC approves as safe. DOE may pair the interim facilities, which would be scattered throughout states and regions, with multiple longer-term facilities.
According to the Washington Post, “About $7.7 billion has been sunk into the project since its inception.”
Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything
Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.
These materials were meant to revolutionize the solar industry. Why hasn’t it happened?
Perovskites are promising, but real-world conditions have held them back.
Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid
Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.
A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of
The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.