Federal government looks for location to store nuclear waste

Would you want a nuclear waste storage facility in your backyard? Most people in New York don't because of the risk of toxic exposure and all the illnesses and medical conditions that can arise from it. It is because many communities have rejected federal plans to build nuclear waste depots that the federal government is scrambling to find a safe location that the neighboring community's support.

The federal government first took control of "high-level" nuclear waste 30 years ago and it has been managed by the federal Department of Energy ever since. Now, it is up to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future to find a location to store the growing amount of nuclear waste produced by both private and government sources. Some of the waste dates back to the 1940s when the United States was creating nuclear weapons during World War II.

Toxic exposure is a real and serious threat to people living near nuclear plants or companies that manufacture or use dangerous chemicals. As toxins seep into the environment or into the air surrounding the factory, people living nearby can develop serious injuries, medical conditions or even die by coming in contact with toxic substances. For the communities that are ravished by these chemicals, it is extremely important to get compensation for the harm they have suffered.

While the federal government thought it had its nuclear waste problem solved, a 23-year-deal with the Yucca Mountain community in Nevada fell through a few years ago and now the government is looking for a new space to store its nuclear waste. The longer it takes for the government to find a suitable location, the more waste piles up.

Source: The New York Times, "Revamped Search Urged for a Nuclear Waste Site" Matthew L. Wald, Jan. 26, 2012


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