Nuclear Waste Disposal

Archive Report

Management of Radioactive Wastes

Concern Over Nuclear Waste Accumulation

The nuclear industry is beset by a host of unsolved problems—preventing accidents, protecting plants from terrorist attacks, making nuclear energy economically feasible, preventing the secret diversion of nuclear material into weapons. One of the most unsettling problems concerns the handling of radioactive wastes from the federal government's weapons program and from commercial nuclear reactors. Although such wastes have been accumulating for more than 30 years, there still is no plan for their permanent disposal.

Both critics and defenders of nuclear power agree that the problem must be solved. President-elect Jimmy Carter, himself a nuclear engineer, told a United Nations conference on nuclear energy on May 13 that it was time for the United States “to cut through the ...

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