Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | October 17, 2008

Lawyer Sanders says British Royal Society is concerned with lack of safe, secure, long-term-storage location for spent nuclear waste material in UK.

The Royal Society, a 350-year-old group of scientific scholars in the United Kingdom (“UK”), estimates that more than 100,000 tons of spent radioactive waste are currently stored in the United Kingdom, awaiting final disposal.  The scientific scholars warn that the majority of UK’s existing nuclear power stations will be decommissioned in the next 20-30 years.  As each nuclear plant is decommissioned, it will generate more radioactive waste for disposal. Unfortunately, the UK currently has no long-term solution to this perplexing problem with nuclear energy.  


In 2002, UK formed a committee to make recommendations on how to best store spent nuclear material.  Unlike the U.S., the UK does not have a mountain in the middle of a large desert to store nuclear waste material at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars. 


Perhaps the U.S. can pay the cost of the Yucca Mountain Repository for nuclear waste by leasing storage space to the Europeans for storage of their spent nuclear material in the coming years.  This storage arrangement for foreign nuclear waste would be akin to building a solid waste landfill in one state and accepting out-of-state garbage to help pay for it.  Here, however, the U.S. would be accepting and charging to store out-of-country spent nuclear material. 

Such a lease arrangement for storing spent nuclear material may help pay our government’s cost of storing spent nuclear waste, which is very conservatively estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.  It would be safe, secure, and perhaps even allow us to financially break even over time on the tremendous cost of storing nuclear waste material for the next several hundred years.


Yucca Mountain Repository is the proposed United States Department of Energy’s deep geological repository storage facility for spent nuclear reactor fuel and other radioactive waste. The repository is located in a desert on federal land adjacent to the Nevada Test Site in Nye County, Nevada, about 80 miles from the Las Vegas metropolitan area.  The nuclear waste repository lies within Yucca Mountain, a ridge line in the south-central part of the U.S. state of Nevada.

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