Reset of America’s Nuclear Waste Management Strategy and Policies

The U.S. government has worked for decades and spent tens of billions of dollars in search of a permanent resting place for the Nation’s nuclear waste. Some 80,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants and millions of gallons of high-level nuclear waste from defense programs are stored in pools, dry casks and large tanks throughout the country at more than 75 sites in 39 states.

A Stanford-led study recommends that the United States “reset” its nuclear waste program by moving responsibility for commercially generated, used nuclear fuel away from the federal government and into the hands of an independent, not-for-profit, utility-owned and funded nuclear waste management organization. The three year study led by Rod Ewing in the Center for International Security and Cooperation has made a series of recommendations focused on the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle.