Storing Nuclear Fuel, Boost to Local Economy?

BBC News

The UK is giving local communities a chance to volunteer to host nuclear-waste from the nation’s nuclear power industry.  This model has already worked effectively in Finland, which is set to become the first country to store its nuclear waste in its designated final resting place.  Sweden and the United States have both also selected sites for disposal.

 

In the US, the Yucca Mountain site has been controversial, and opposed strongly by US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Among the dangers are 33 known faults near the site, putting an already scarce supply of water in danger. Its estimated that the area could feel movements from earthquakes equivalent to a 6.5 magnitude. Recently, a private waste storage company has called the Department of Energy’s Plan for dumping nuclear waste was a “doomed undertaking” and that any safety plan was a “fool’s errand.”

Instead of trying to force a location on citizens who will no doubt cry NIMBY, could we possibly adopt a similar plan that Finland, and now the UK are undertaking? A community that would be willing to host the waste would receive the creation of jobs, and possibly other compensation. While some critics may call that bribery, it is simply the risk premium that is needed to incentivize a desired result. It could even be offered to areas of the rust belt who have been hit hard by the changing economy.

At this point, we and the UK can’t afford not to go nuclear, and selecting a feasible waste disposal site is of utmost importance.

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