The clean-ness of nuclear energy

Nuclear power always wins the argument of what is most “green” by ignoring things like the cost of cleaning up afterwards (and wins economically by ignoring things like just how little Uranium there really is, in the world). Monbiot wrote an excellent article about this, a while ago now.

And today? Today:

nyt pic

Each circle entombs a nuclear waste canister near Aiken, S.C.

Forgotten but not gone, the waste from more than 100 nuclear reactors that the federal government was supposed to start accepting for burial 10 years ago is still at the reactor sites, at least 20 years behind schedule. But it is making itself felt in the federal budget.

With court orders and settlements, the federal government has already paid the utilities $342 million, but is virtually certain to pay a total of at least $7 billion in the next few years and probably over $11 billion, government officials said. The industry said the total could reach $35 billion.

The payments come from an obscure and poorly understood government account that requires no new Congressional appropriations, and will balloon in size, experts said.

The payments are due because the reactor owners were all required to sign contracts with the Energy Department in the early 1980s, with the government promising to dispose of the waste for a fee of a 10th of a cent per kilowatt-hour. It was supposed to begin taking away the fuel in the then far-off year of 1998.

Since then, the utilities have filed 60 lawsuits. The main argument — employing legions of lawyers on both sides — is when the government would have picked up the fuel if it had adhered to the original commitment, and thus how much of the storage expense would have fallen on the utilities anyway.

But the damage number is rising. If the repository that the government is trying to develop at Yucca Mountain, near Las Vegas, could start accepting waste at the date now officially projected, in 2017, the damages would run about $7 billion, according to Edward F. Sproat III, director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management.

Each reactor typically creates about 20 tons of waste a year, which is approximately two new casks, at roughly $1 million each. If a repository or interim site opened, clearing the backlog would take decades, experts say. At present, waste is in temporary storage at 122 sites in 39 states.

Emphasis added.

Advertisements

1 comment so far

  1. Adandadeeta on

    Мне 9 лет и я учусь в школе. У нас есть урок где мы проходим Web дизайн. Я в блокноте написала свой сайт, мой первый проект.
    Мой сайт про мою кошечку на трех ногах и двух рогах. Моя сестра помогает мне продвинуть в поесковике мой сайт. Она дала мне имя в интернете – логотипессс и поставила мне на сайт картинку моей кошечки.
    Я думаю он ваш очень понравится.
    Логотипы и картинки про кошечек.
    Отсялайте мне фотографии своих кошечек и я буду их ставить на сайт)
    ditateaceошечка]gmail.com

    Люительнитса кошечег.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: