Nuclear energy is back in the hot seat. U.S. lawmakers want to know more about the emergency response plans in place if a nuclear accident were to occur as well as what the game plan is to find radioactive nuclear fuel a permanent home.
“A new strategy is needed, 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,” says the Energy Department’s blue ribbon panel.
While the report focuses more on finding long-term storage for radioactive waste, it also considered the reprocessing of such fuel. Panelists held out hope for the eventual re-use of those byproducts but concluded that any real solutions are decades away. The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board concurs, adding that reprocessing may reduce nuclear waste but it does not yet eliminate it.
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