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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The nuclear waste divide

The nuclear waste divide

Nuclear waste disposal is a contentious subject. Nuclear proponents believe the engineering issues are, for the most part, solved, while critics believe major technical questions are unanswered. This divide is as great today as any time in the past. In 1982, Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. The act was clear; the U.S. Government would take possession of used fuel at nuclear power plants beginning in 1998. Electric utilities paid approximately $750 million annually to fund this project. The government did not take the spent fuel, however. Instead, it was penalized for breach of the law. In 2002, Congress designated Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the site for a deep-geologic...

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