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Nuclear waste stuck on California beach with nowhere to go

HOW A NUCLEAR STALEMATE LEFT RADIOACTIVE WASTE STRANDED ON A CALIFORNIA BEACH, Nuclear waste is all dressed up with nowhere to go, The Verge By hen I got to the San Onofre State Beach about 60 miles north of San Diego, the red sun of fire season was sandwiched on the horizon between a layer of fog and the sea. Surfers floated in a line off the shore. It looked like any other California beach — except for the row of signs that warned “Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Area,” and the twin reactor domes rising above the bluffs.

On the beach, perspectives on the plant ranged from resignation to frustration. “It’s part of the landscape now,” said one man walking his dog. A woman who was roasting marshmallows in the sand with her family said it’s eerie to see the plant when she’s out surfing: “You turn around and take a wave, and you just see these nuclear boobs staring out at you.” Her husband wondered what will happen with the spent nuclear fuel now that the plant is no longer operating. “No citizen wants it here permanently, but nobody wants to take it,” he said. “So we’re just in a really hard spot. What are you supposed to do with it?”

All those containers of fuel left behind mean that no one can use the land for anything else. And the problem is widespread: spent fuel from commercial reactors is scattered across roughly 80 sites in 35 different states, according to the Government Accountability Office. It wasn’t supposed to be like this: for decades, the plan has been to bury highly radioactive nuclear waste underground. (There were also proposals to bury the waste in the ocean or shoot it into the sun — but those weren’t as practical, according to a report by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.)

August 29, 2018 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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