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Nuclear Waste Piles Up As Repository Plan Falters via NPR

◇ Continued from In Sweden, A Tempered Approach To Nuclear Waste

by Craig Miller

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant on California’s central coast has more than 1,300 tons of nuclear waste sitting on its back porch, waiting for pickup. The problem is, there’s no one to pick it up.

The 103 other reactors in the country are in the same bind — it has now been more than 50 years since the first nuclear plant was switched on in the United States, and the federal government still hasn’t found a permanent home for the nation’s nuclear waste.

The two nuclear reactors at the plant generate steam that drives giant turbines, which in turn generate electricity that powers about 3 million households. Once the uranium rods that fuel the reactors are used up, they’re removed and cooled down underwater, in temporary storage pools.

The trouble is, those “temporary” pools have become pretty permanent and crowded, as utilities load them up with more fuel rods, squeezing them closer together.

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