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US unveils new radioactive waste strategy

31 January 2013

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a report outlining a new strategy for the management and disposal of used nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive waste. The strategy addresses the proposals of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.

The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository was abandoned in 2010
The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository was abandoned in 2010

The strategy proposes construction of a pilot plant by 2012, larger interim storage facility by 2025 and an underground geological repository site identified by 2026 designed and licensed by 2042.

The US abandoned the Yucca Mountain project in 2010, after spending $9 billion and two decades trying to develop it into a repository.

The DOE said that the new programme will provide both ‘near-term and long-term solutions’ for managing the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle, thereby resolving a longtime source of conflict in nuclear policy by providing safe, secure, and permanent disposal.

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