What did I do wrong? Or, “What did we do wrong?”

March 9, 2022, 3:01PMANS News

Steven P. Nesbit
president@ans.org

Have you ever been punished for something you didn’t do? It happens to most of us on occasion while growing up, especially if we have siblings. It’s not the end of the world, and it teaches a valuable lesson: Life is not fair. Nevertheless, when it happens, it really rankles you.

The “issue” of nuclear waste provides me with instant recall of those unpleasant childhood memories. Commercial nuclear power plants have been managing low-level waste and used nuclear fuel safely and efficiently since the beginning of the nuclear enterprise. Industry is adept at minimizing, packaging, transporting, and disposing of LLW. Used fuel is stored safely and securely at reactor sites, awaiting disposal.

Forty years ago, nuclear power plant operators entered into contracts with the federal government. The deal was simple. The operators would pay the U.S. government a lot of money, and the government would pick up the relatively small amount of used fuel and dispose of it in a geologic repository, beginning in 1998. The money changed hands, but the used fuel never did.

To continue reading, log in or create a free account!

Related Articles

Trust is the coin of the realm

August 16, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

It is often said that in Washington, “trust is the coin of the realm.” Of course, you can be forgiven for thinking these days that trust in politics is an outmoded concept—that the only...

NRC to consolidate LLW rulemaking

April 11, 2022, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will integrate two separate rulemaking activities concerning the disposal of low-level radioactive waste, issuing a “re-proposed” rule that consolidates...