In the 20th century, nuclear technology and nuclear power became a part of the American economy and the American defense structure. There was just one problem: what to do with nuclear waste. When warheads are decommissioned or power plants are torn down or refueled, the spent fuel has to go somewhere. It is highly dangerous and won’t become safe to handle for 24,000 years. So where should this waste be stored? How should it be stored? How should it be transported? This has been a battle fought between the states and the federal government for 30 years with almost no end in sight. Storage facilities have been created and construction has been underway but so far very little waste has been moved in. It’s still being stored on sight where it was created in various (and not always safe) methods. What can be done to solve this problem once and for all? This problem is especially important as some look to nuclear to solve climate change. As usual, it is complicated, expensive and involves politics.
Here’s a video about the problem with the storage of nuclear waste.