Is the Yucca Mountain waste disposal site receiving high level nuclear waste?
NRC regulates the construction and operation of commercial nuclear power plants and spent fuel repositories (e.g., Yucca Mountain). This action left the United States without any long term storage site for the disposal of civilian spent reactor fuel and defense generated High Level Waste.
Who is responsible for disposing of nuclear waste?
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has regulatory authority over storage and disposal of all commercially-generated nuclear wastes in the United States, as well as disposal of spent fuel and high-level wastes generated by the Department of Energy.
Is there a disposal facility for high level nuclear waste?
The only purpose-built deep geological repository that is currently licensed for disposal of nuclear material is the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in the USA, but it does not have a licence for disposal of used fuel or HLW.
What do we do with high level radioactive waste?
Since the only way high-level radioactive waste becomes harmless is through decay over hundreds of thousands of years, the wastes must be stored and finally disposed of in a way that provides adequate protection of the public for a very long time.
How long does nuclear waste last?
The radioactivity of nuclear waste naturally decays, and has a finite radiotoxic lifetime. Within a period of 1,000-10,000 years, the radioactivity of HLW decays to that of the originally mined ore. Its hazard then depends on how concentrated it is.
Is there any nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain?
The state’s official position is that Yucca Mountain is a singularly bad site to house the nation’s high-level nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel for several reasons: More than 70,000 metric tons of high level nuclear waste and spent nuclear is stored in more than 77 reactor sites across the country.
How long until nuclear waste is safe?
Transuranic wastes, sometimes called TRU, account for most of the radioactive hazard remaining in high-level waste after 1,000 years. Radioactive isotopes eventually decay, or disintegrate, to harmless materials. Some isotopes decay in hours or even minutes, but others decay very slowly.
Where is nuclear waste currently stored?
Right now, all of the nuclear waste that a power plant generates in its entire lifetime is stored on-site in dry casks. A permanent disposal site for used nuclear fuel has been planned for Yucca Mountain, Nevada, since 1987, but political issues keep it from becoming a reality.