One of the most pressing problems of the state of Nevada is the disposal of nuclear waste, the history of which dates back to the days of the Cold War. Fierce disputes are due to constructing the only US repository for spent nuclear fuel in the Yucca Mountains of Nevada. Since 39 states currently have temporary nuclear waste storage sites, this is considered impractical. The Washington administration plans to collect nuclear waste from around the country and store it in one facility. Kenausis and Fellow note that the storage consists of three deep dead-end tunnels with reinforced walls that can withstand earthquakes or other disasters. The waste itself will be stored in special containers for tens of thousands of years.
However, according to Arenschield, new studies by American scientists have shown that containers in which radioactive waste will be stored will decompose faster than their contents. The combination of steel, ceramics, and glass will create a super aggressive environment, from which the corrosion process will significantly accelerate and destroy the capsules. It seems that the situation has reached an impasse; nevertheless, the country is in dire need of creating such an object.
As Chernobyl and Three Mile Island accidents have shown, the nuclear reactor system must operate with an ultra-high degree of reliability. It is ensured by the safety of each of its components, one of which is the disposal of highly radioactive waste. It is not enough to perform calculations to show that containers can provide the required level of isolation. It is vital to manufacture these containers accurately and create reliable systems for transporting waste.
To begin with, slow the pace of project implementation so that progress matches advancement in knowledge acquisition. Even if the Department of Energy manages to develop a worthy project, it will be challenging to implement it while maintaining the right level of trust. The highest level of quality control will be required for both the production and installation of waste storage tanks and the nuclear waste transportation system. Thus, the Department of Energy in the Yucca Mountain project must devote special attention to the development and acquisition of new knowledge.
Arenschield, Laura. “Current Model for Storing Nuclear Waste is Incomplete.” The Ohio State University. 2020. Web.
Kenausis, Luisa and Scoville Fellow. “Nuclear Waste Issues in the United States.” Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. 2018. Web.