Friday's edition of The New York Times included an editorial hailing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision last week to authorize a nuclear waste storage site in Utah. The editorial carefully lays out the case for storage in Utah, noting the importance of such a site as a temporary solution until the Yucca Mountain repository project in Nevada is complete.
So far as is known, the used fuel rods can be left there safely for decades. But it becomes awkward and costly to guard and maintain the storage casks after the reactors themselves have been retired from service. Several reactors have already been shut down, and more are apt to follow. In some cases, the spent fuel rods sit on land that might have more valuable uses. Unless these used fuel rods can be sent to Yucca, a destination that has not yet been approved to receive them, it seems desirable to have a backup site.Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy Environment Energy Politics Technology Economics Nevada Yucca Mountain Nuclear Regulatory Commission Utah PFS
... We remain hopeful that Yucca can qualify as a permanent disposal site. But if Yucca fails to pass muster with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the nation will need a centralized surface site to fill the gap until a safe burial location can be found. The Indian reservation in Utah can fill that purpose.