NW could keep nuclear waste for 100 years under recommendation

Aug 1, 2011

The Northwest could end up keeping Hanford’s nuclear waste for 100 years or more under a recommendation issued Friday by a presidential commission. President Obama appointed the Blue Ribbon Commission to look into the question of where to store the nation’s worst nuclear waste.

The new report says one option may be to store the waste at regional centers for more than 100 years while the country looks for a suitable permanent repository. That concerns Susan Leckband, who chairs a board that advises managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

“We’re not so sure that 100 years wouldn’t end up being permanent. I’m disappointed that 100 years is on the table, because anybody that’s made that decision now, won’t be responsible for what’s left in 100 years.”

The hunt for a national nuclear waste repository began after the Obama Administration torpedoed the Yucca Mountain site that was under construction in Nevada. That was slated to be the future home of Hanford’s 56-million gallons of radioactive waste.

Copyright 2011 Northwest Public Radio

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