The Future of Nuclear Waste in the US

The issue of nuclear waste has been a hotbed of contention by many senators and policy makers a-like for many years. Recently four senators have proposed legislation that will enforce some of the recommendations made by President Barack Obama’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.  The recommendations proposed by the legislation will be seen below.

The first recommendation is the formation of a new government agency outside of the Department of Energy. The specific legislation labelled this new agency as the Nuclear Waste Administration. The proposed legislation will give the Nuclear Waste Administration control of the Nuclear Waste Fund. The Nuclear Waste Fund is a tax payer supplemented fund that is charged per use of nuclear power. This fund is for the disposal of commercial nuclear waste. Furthermore, the proposed Nuclear Waste Administration would get supplemented for dealing with nuclear waste from defense agencies.

The second recommendation proposed by the legislation will provide a means of separating commercial nuclear waste from defense waste. This has long been a major issue with the past large scale storage solution, Yucca Mountain.

The legislation proposes that the Nuclear Waste Administration will be headed by an administrator that is appointed by the President of the United States.

I am not completely sold on the idea that this administration would take care of the nuclear waste issues. How much money was spent on Yucca Mountain and with no results? I feel like this legislation is taking a step in the right direction but it is not going to fix the solution.



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