For decades, the federal government has failed to produce an acceptable solution to manage the nation‘s radioactive nuclear waste from nuclear power plants. Today most of this dangerous “spent” fuel is stored in densely packed pools at the nation’s 104 operating nuclear reactors, posing significant risks to millions of Americans.
In fact, the pools contain on average much more nuclear waste and are more densely packed than the pools at the Fukushima reactors. An accident or terrorist attack resulting in a rapid loss of cooling water from a pool could lead to a fire and release of a massive quantity of highly radioactive material. To better protect Americans, most independent experts agree that radioactive waste that has cooled sufficiently should be transferred to concrete and steel containers called dry casks.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the Nuclear Waste Administration Act (S. 3469), legislation to overhaul the country’s long-term nuclear waste storage and management system. Unfortunately, the bill would do little to improve public safety in the near-term because it does not address moving the waste out of the densely packed pools into dry casks.
We need your senator, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to attend the hearing and champion dry cask storage as a critical first step in managing and safely disposing of the nation’s growing stockpile of high-level nuclear waste.
Urge your senator to attend this critical hearing tomorrow and champion the dry cask storage of nuclear waste.
Manager, Strategic Campaigns
UCS Global Security Program