Nuke Plant Waste Storage Extended

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 @ 04:01 PM gHale

The amount of time nuclear plants may store radioactive waste on site doubled to up to 60 years after their shutdown, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ruled.

Formerly, the amount of time the waste could store on-site in spent fuel pools or in dry concrete storage facilities was 30 years, said Neil Sheehan, NRC spokesman.

With federal funding cut for the proposed Yucca Mountain underground storage site in Nevada, there is uncertainty on where to place high-level nuclear waste storage, Sheehan said.

The NRC also asked its staff to look at whether on-site storage could occur for more than 120 years, instead of 60 years.

The NRC received 158 letters regarding the rule change during the comment period last fall, Sheehan said, many of which were against the change.

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