Thursday, July 05, 2012

Maybe There Isn't One?

I rarely talk about nuclear energy as it seems to be one of those subjects which inspires madness, but after all of these years I remain puzzled by the very serious view that it's really awesome technology as long as we ignore the waste problem.

Lawmakers and policy planners must revive the search for safe ways to store used fuel rods from nuclear power reactors. The long-term solution favored by most experts, which we endorse, is to bury the material in geologically stable formations capable of preventing leakage far into the future.

But no politically acceptable site has yet been found, and leaving the used fuel rods at each reactor — more than 62,000 metric tons had accumulated across the country by the end of 2009 — seems increasingly problematic. At least nine states have banned the construction of new reactors until a permanent storage site is found or progress toward finding one is made. The only potential permanent storage site examined so far — at Yucca Mountain in Nevada — has been blocked for more than two decades by technical problems, legal challenges and political opposition from the state.

I would like to suggest that there are good reasons "no politically acceptable site has yet been found."