Whatever America’s energy future, our nuclear waste problem isn’t going anywhere via Washington Examiner

Electricity affects nearly every aspect of modern life, from the food supply to health, transportation, housing and emergency services. Lives depend on reliable access to electrical power and nuclear power plants generate a fifth of all U.S. electricity. It would take decades to make up their loss if these indispensible plants were closed, not to mention that people would have to live with 20% less energy.

But there’s a larger problem, and the same people wanting to stop nuclear power through the Green New Deal won’t allow the government to fix it: nuclear waste disposal. There are currently 100,000-tons of waste spread over 30 different states, from New Hampshire to California, generated by 98 nuclear reactors at 60 vitally needed nuclear power plants.

And it won’t matter if the Green New Deal becomes reality or not: Even if every nuclear reactor in the U.S. were immediately shut down, nuclear waste would not go away.


What’s the situation today? It hasn’t changed. In the meantime, taxpayers continue to fork over $800 million a year for temporary storage all over the U.S. because the government isn’t allowed to consolidate nuclear waste. All because of politics.

If the goal is finding the perfect site — a completely risk-free facility, good for millions of years — then no site is viable, not even the already-built Yucca Mountain. It’s the classic example of “better is the enemy of the good enough.” As a result, nuclear waste is still scattered at 60 different locations instead of stored safely at one. There are 60 ways for Murphy’s Law to have its effect, and 60 different sites mean 60 targets of opportunity for terrorists to steal nuclear waste to make a “dirty bomb,” a security nightmare that would cause wide-spread panic.


Dr. Doug Beason was the Associate Laboratory Director at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, responsible for protecting against nuclear threats. Until recently, he was Chief Scientist of USAF Space Command. His thriller Kill Zone, just released by Forge Books, is about the threat posed by the failure to secure nuclear waste.

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