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Is Spent Nuclear Fuel Really Waste? via The New York Times

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.

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Among other problems, it said, if there were some reprocessing, the country would still need a waste repository.

Most reactions to the report from the nuclear industry, utility groups and other related entities were positive. 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,’’ said the company, a partnership that makes many of the major components for G.E.-designed reactors.

The company said the country needed research on technologies “with the most potential to fundamentally alter our waste management challenges and achieve far more than storage of today’s used nuclear fuel.”

Read the entire article at Is Spent Nuclear Fuel Really Waste?

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2 Responses

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  1. yukimiyamotodepaul says

    Yes, it is. “Among other problems, it said, if there were some reprocessing, the country would still need a waste repository.” —why is this crucial point completely ignored?

    • Soy & Butter says

      Reprocessing technology is incomplete, just look at Rokkasho, Monju, and then the simple fact that most nuclear sites in Japan are nearing storage capacity with no additional storage or capabilities to reprocess spent nuclear fuel. Where does it go?

      Somewhat related, Japan is having a hard time right now accounting for large amounts of unreported plutonium and HEU in different locations — thankfully for us in Japan, Amano is the head and sanctions are unlikely. However, considering recent precedents, how can new countries at the nuclear table — like Jordan — be held accountable for oversights in their nuclear stocks?



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