• @relic_@lemm.ee
    410 months ago

    Factor 1: Not quite accurate. Yes there are categories of waste; the names change depending on the regulator. The lower level wastes are already disposed of in the US (there are already four such facilities). The politically charged problem is always the spent nuclear fuel itself.

    Factor 2: Senator Reed (D-NV) was a former Senate majority leader. He extracted the defending of Yucca Mountain from the Obama administration as a concession to pass Obamacare. It’s still technically viable and not disposing of waste costs enormous amounts of money. The federal government is legally obligated to take spent fuel off the hands of operators. Obviously they have not, so the government is sued (and loses). This has cost the government roughly $20b for their inaction see here..

    Factor 3: You can recycle spent fuel but there’s no concept as spent fuel with zero radioactivity.

    Two largest problems in the US: Inability to manage waste and inability to execute on large scale construction required for nuclear.

    • Mossy Feathers (They/Them)
      -110 months ago

      On factor 3: I thought that there were cyclic reactor chains, where the fuel produced at the end of the chain could be reused at the start. If followed long enough, wouldn’t that theoretically result in fully spent fuel rods? It might take a long time, but it’s not impossible and in the meantime, they’re still being useful and generating power when they’d normally be discarded.