RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL
They should have just pulverized or solublized it and then dispersed it in the deep ocean where it would be so diluted as to be completely harmless and almost undetectable, but our government is determined that all radioactive waste will be stored in one large pile where it can remain dangerous for as long as possible.
Even this pile, sufficiently secured underground, will be quite safe, but creating it seems to be beyond bureaucratic abilities. Over $10 billion has been collected in energy taxes under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 for this purpose, and half of this has already been spent. The legislation requires that the Yucca Mountain depository begin to receive waste by 1998. Now our government says it will not be ready until 2010 (far enough in the future for this crowd to retire and leave the next delay to another gaggle of "decision makers''). Now they are getting help from their friends in the press who are publicizing an erroneous suggestion that the whole depository could self-destruct in a nuclear explosion. This is not possible, but fear is their stock in trade.
Fred Upton (R-Michigan) and Edolphus Towns (D-New York) have recently introduced legislation to force the Department of Energy to provide nuclear storage and disposal facilities starting in 1998. Let DOE provide temporary storage until permanent storage is available, rather than requiring this of a nuclear industry that has already paid the special taxes required for this purpose.
This ongoing debacle has been described in numerous industry publications. A good five-page summary is in the March 1995 issue of Nuclear Energy Insight available from the Nuclear Energy Institute, 1776 I Street, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006-3708.
Even the government is mad at the government. The Department of Defense has no place to dispose of spent fuel from nuclear submarines.