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


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