US nuclear needs "new strategy", says report

A group of specialists in the USA has called for immediate action in dealing with America’s growing nuclear waste materials, branding the need for change as “urgent”. In a report […]

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By Tom Gibson

A group of specialists in the USA has called for immediate action in dealing with America’s growing nuclear waste materials, branding the need for change as “urgent”.

In a report to the US Energy Secretary Steven Chu the Blue Ribbon Commission said: “The need for a new strategy is urgent, not just to address these damages and costs but because this generation has a fundamental, ethical obligation to avoid burdening future generations with the entire task of finding a safe, permanent solution for managing hazardous nuclear materials they had no part in creating”.

The report recommends immediate efforts to develop at least one geologic disposal facility and at least one consolidated storage facility, as well as efforts to prepare for the eventual large-scale transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste from current storage sites to those facilities.

The United States currently has more than 65,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel stored at about 75 operating and shutdown reactor sites around the country, with more than 2,000 tons are being produced each year from civil programmes alone.