Nuclear Waste Management Essay

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The disposal of nuclear waste is quickly becoming the most important issue facing the environmental community today. Nearly twenty percent of our nation's electricity is being supplied by approximately 100 nuclear power plants that are operating in the United States. Currently, most of the nuclear waste created by these power plants is being housed temporarily in storage facilities and although the total amount of nuclear waste produced in one year is small, the need to find a permanent method of disposing this waste is rapidly growing. The problem is everyone wants to live the lifestyle nuclear power provides, but no one wants to pay the price. Where do we put the waste and who should have to suffer so the majority of the population…show more content…
The three selected sites were Hanford, Washington; Deaf Smith County, Texas; and Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Yucca Mountain Project is now being put through the necessary steps for completion. Yucca Mountain is located on government owned land in a remote area of Nevada. The proposed plan is the first national permanent waste facility and will cost an estimated 6.3 billion dollars. The project will include borrowing massive tunnels through the mountain's inner rock and then placing the storage tanks inside. Obviously, there is much public concern over the project. One of the largest concerns is the possibility of seismic activity rupturing the tunnel and/or canisters. At present, the 104th US Congress, house Resolution 1924 proposed to make Hanford, Washington, the western US site for temporary storage, and it would be by default the permanent disposal place of spent nuclear fuel from US reactors. This resolution stemmed from a growing recognition that Yucca Mountains, in Nevada, is a less than brilliant location for this purpose. The US government has no fallback position should the project at Yucca Mountain fail. Yucca Mountain is not a sound solution for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The decision to site Yucca Mountain as a waste repository was based on politics, not science. There continues to be much controversy over the issue and many questions regarding the collected
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