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Friday, July 29, 2011 - 12:13pm

What To Do With Nuclear Waste?

Updated: 6 years ago.
Officials at the Savannah River site near Augusta say it’s too early to tell how a new federal report will affect storage of spent nuclear fuel at the facility. President Obama’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future released its findings today. (mage courtesy U.S. Department of Energy)

A federal panel today released findings that could affect the storage of spent nuclear fuel at the Savannah River Site near Augusta.

The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's nuclear Future was created to find alternatives for storing the nation’s nuclear waste after the Obama Administration scrapped plans to put it at Yucca Mountain near Las Vegas.

But the report says a single storage site is the best long term solution for the nation's nuclear waste.

It says the country’s waste policies are broken and recommends forming an independent agency to to deal with the worsening problem.

Currently tons of waste is kept at commercial power plants and government sites like SRS.

The former nuclear weapons plant is scheduled to receive thousands of spent fuel containers from foreign and domestic research reactors but has no clear path for disposing of it.

SRS spokesman Jim Giusti:

"We’re looking at what we have to do with that fuel in the future as the department reviews the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission."

One possibility is reclaiming uranium from the fuel in the site’s reprocessing facility.

The remaining waste would be converted to glass rods which are easier to store.