Commentary: Oil & Gas Leaks Crocodile Tears Over Nuclear Waste Storage

Source: James Conca, Forbes, Dec 7, 2019

In the absence of a permanent disposal site for America’s commercial spent nuclear fuel (SNF), and the lousy characteristics of Yucca Mountain, the obvious and best path forward is to put all of the waste into dry cask storage (see figure above) at a single centralized storage facility in an optimal place with respect to population and the environment.

Since there isn’t much of this waste – all of it generated in 60 years could fit in a WalMart – you only need one site for the whole country. Two companies, Holtec and Waste Control Specialists, are vying for such a site, each between Carlsbad, New Mexico and Andrews, Texas.

Dry casks have been licensed by the regulator for 160 years and we’ve been using them without incident for decades. We test them by dropping them from great heights, burning at thousands of degrees, submerging in water, running them into a brick wall.

What else do you need? No other industry does things this safe or this robust.

However, some Oil & Gas companies have started protesting against this idea, incorrectly claiming that these casks are not safe…you know…Chernobyl…Fukushima…oooh.

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