New York Times Headline: “Is Spent Nuclear Fuel Really Waste?”

Published: January 27th, 2012 at 12:22 pm ET


Title: Is Spent Nuclear Fuel Really Waste?
Source: New York Times
Author: Matthew L. Wald
Date: Jan 27, 2012

When the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future was established two years ago, after the Obama administration killed a proposed repository for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, one of the items on its agenda was to determine whether spent nuclear fuel was in fact waste. 

Among advocates of nuclear power, considerable disagreement exists about whether the spent fuel can be considered waste, given that it contains unused uranium as well as plutonium, which is created in nuclear reactors and can be used as fuel. […]

Nuclear Physicist Arjun Makhijani

The reactors that would break up the most troublesome materials, called “fast” reactors because the neutrons that sustain the chain reactions move faster than the neutrons in today’s conventional reactors, have already absorbed $100 billion globally in research and development, he said, yet they are still nowhere near practical

G.E. Hitachi Nuclear Energy, a manufacturer, was an exception

“G.E.H. does not believe that adequate consideration was afforded to advanced reactor and recycling technologies that could significantly improve the used fuel disposal process” 

Read the report here

Also from today: Kevin Kamps: No viable solution for either the management or ‘disposal’ of radioactive waste

Published: January 27th, 2012 at 12:22 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Top US nuclear official raises the possibility of “widespread nuclear fallout” caused by spent fuel pool March 16, 2011
  2. Editorial: West coast of N. America under threat from Fukushima spent fuel — A global crisis; Seriousness of it cannot be overstated — Gov’t thinks Canadians can’t handle the truth August 17, 2013
  3. CBC Headline: Radiation from Fukushima arrives on Alaska coast — University scientists concerned — “Is the food supply safe?… I don’t think anyone can really answer that” November 3, 2013
  4. Alaska Newspaper: Concern Fukushima nuclear waste is tainting our salmon — Worried about impact on humans — Scientists urged to conduct tests August 25, 2013
  5. Nuclear Researcher: Mutant microorganisms thrived in melted fuel at Three Mile Island — “Sounds like something you’d see on Star Trek” says host (VIDEO) February 2, 2012

23 comments to New York Times Headline: “Is Spent Nuclear Fuel Really Waste?”

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Yes it is.

  • James2

    Wow the nuke spin machine is on high.

    The article doesn’t say one word about the nuclear accidents. It simply assumes that spent fuel is a necessity.

    It’s not. You can not have nuke reactors and you have no more spent fuel.

  • $100 billion for faster extinction of the planet ?

  • Rense & Yoichi Shimatsu – Fukushima Deteriorating

  • $100 billion should go to caring for victims and cleaning up the latest nuclear mess best they can !

  • Bones Bones

    No surprise the comments are all completely pro nuke. You know the NY Times is part of the political machine. They are limiting discussion to what they want people to know and talk about. The possibility of ending our nuclear programs and reactors is never discussed. Once again, bounding the public discussion just like they do during the elections. Actually, just like they do all the time for everything like Repubs vs Dems. RON PAUL 2012 lol

    • the yeoman the yeoman

      Its called framing

      for example check this page out about control rods.

      Note the photo of a PWR control rod assembly with the hand to give the image “scale”. Of course the photographer could have used many objects to produce that affect; a ruler, a dollar bill, a dead kitten, but instead they use a woman’s hand… looks safe right, go head touch its fine really

      This calls for song. MsMilkytheClown turned me on to this ENJOY
      hell sing alone

      • aigeezer aigeezer

        Superb example of framing, the yeoman. Thanks for that.

        Another related gem from YouTube:

      • That was good. Time ly? No,know? If you do(use the wasted fuel) you are in hell, if you dont you will go to hell! See the shock and awe of the Finnish deep underground dark hell? Lieber oben als unten? Above ground the devil will kill and deep under, the devil will kill-Catch 22! Last time you played Kiss jazz. I riposte! This time Fukushame Daichi ,Daini is becoming too much and we cannot also any more! But we cannot undo what has already been done. The song was- well= blunt!!! New York Times wake up will you? Get this: They are drilling at New Madrid, but they will have to soon at NY- the skycrapers will be ablaze at this rate of progress(!) of the dynamism(!) of modern civilization’s positive feedback. Just take a look at page 41 of Pralaya,by M.R. Narendra,Vidyanidhi,Mysore-2011)- an earthquake of immense proportions to destroy New York. The signs of it happening because of the hellwork of the world’s dams which are needed to keep a stable supply of electricity are all too clear: See
        The jazz still lilts! And the riposte is jarring! But its all over! The past becomes the future! Cant undo it!

  • Dogleg Dogleg

    No matter what you call it, it needs to be dealt with immediately. Stock piling it in open swimming pools for 50+ years is totally unacceptable and creates much unnecessary risk.

  • Grampybone Grampybone

    With 100 billion dollars they should have started a lunar nuclear waste storage.It’s waste and it kills just as fast as a sticking your finger in crude oil from BP. They could just classify nuclear waste as contamination so they have some kind of obligation to clean it up. The problem is the nuclear waste is not safe even when it is stored. I guess that would be cause to define it as something other than waste, but if you can’t use it you must dispose of it. The underground storage is wishful thinking because the storage areas can explode just as easily as a power plant.

  • Sky775

    Ow, that headline hurt my brain.

  • stopnp stopnp

    Wow. How are these morons in control?

    • many moons

      They aren’t in control…they are our leaders…we are in control when we decide to follow them.

  • StillJill StillJill

    “It depends on what IS, is.”

  • BadjerJim BadjerJim

    For those who haven’t seen it, on Jan 26, Matt Bennett posted one of the worst pro-nuclear brwon-nosing articles I’ve ever seen in the Huffington Post.

    “But the fact is that nuclear energy has been proven to be safe, and it has posed far less of a threat to public health than coal, the primary energy source for producing electricity throughout the world…”

    “Let’s start with the most extreme measure of risk — fatalities. Here nuclear’s number is pretty easy to remember: zero. That is the death toll from the worst American nuclear energy accident in history, at the Three Mile Island plant in 1979 (where the injury total was also zero), as well as every other radiological incident at American nuclear plants in the entire history of our civilian nuclear energy program…”

    Complete article is here:

  • Hogweed

    Some people I think are misreading the headline. The author is suggesting that it is a mistake to call spent fuel “waste” because it is far worse than word “waste” implies because of the substantial content of bomb-usable plutonium.

  • or-well

    Re: “spent” fuel, this nuclear jargon word is such crazymaking, Biglie, false-security diminishment!

    The condition of the fuel is opposite to what “spent” means!

    The best single-word substitute I can think of is “intensified”, but that doesn’t convey the danger.

    Hellfuel? Deathfuel? Extinctonium? The Insanium Fuel Pool? Foolyouium Fuel rods?
    I Dunno.

    “Primary containment” which is really tertiary or worse, there’s more I’m sure but my brain just seized.