The issue of how to deal with radioactive waste resulting from nuclear power production becomes twice as important as Southern Nuclear/Georgia Power prepare to build two new reactors at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro. God help us, we’re taking advice on how to deal with the waste from France, according to Walter Jones:
Friday, representatives from France and French firms met with American industry executives and academics at Georgia Tech where the discussion centered on how recycling in that country reduces nuclear waste by more than 95 percent.
“If our friends at Vogtle are as successful as we believe they will be — there’s a lot of confidence in the team that is out there in the field — that will help prime the pump for the next wave (of reactor development),” said David Blee, executive director of the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council.
France’s 58 reactors compose the second-largest “fleet” in the world behind the United States, and nuclear power generates the majority of electricity used there while also exporting it to neighboring countries. Yet, its stockpile of nuclear waste is a fraction of what’s awaiting permanent, underground disposal here.
Carter-era federal regs prevent nuclear fuel reprocessing in the United States of
Awesome America. Reprocessing nuke waste for fuel has a proponent on the Public Service Commission:
Tim Echols, a member of the Georgia Public Service Commission, said Americans began to seriously recycle household garbage in the 1980s and it should be doing the same with spent reactor fuel.
Dealing with nuclear waste is becoming critical at Vogtle because their current storage capacities will run out by 2014 and the federal government’s
scheme plan to bury nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada has been cancelled.
Because the federal government’s long-range plan for a national geologic repository for such waste has stalled, Vogtle is following in the footsteps of many other nuclear plants by building above-ground “dry cask” storage sites that can accommodate larger volumes of nuclear waste for longer periods.
During a meeting last month with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission permitting officials, the company projected it could fill about 110 such casks by 2035 solely with wastes from the existing units 1 and 2.
Although two new units — 3 and 4 — are planned at the site and in the permitting stage, the current plan is to build cask storage for existing units only, Thomas said.