SLIDE 2: Underground nuclear waste storage is a controversial topic that accompanies the question of whether nuclear energy is, overall, a good idea.
The question of where and how to store the radioactive waste that follows nuclear energy production has been at the heart of concerns with the energy source. The best way to store nuclear waste remains an open question, as the world seeks to deal with the radioactive waste it is currently storing in above-ground facilities, which are generally considered less safe than deep underground storage facilities. SLIDE 3: One of the main problems with storing the waste is that there is no permanent way of disposing of it. The spent fuel rods from a nuclear reactor are the most radioactive of all nuclear wastes. There is, as of now, no permanent storage site of spent fuel rods. Temporary storage is being used while a permanent site is searched for and prepared. Most nuclear power plants have a temporary storage pool next to the reactor. The spent rods are placed in the pool, where they can cool down. The spent fuel rods are supposed to stay in the pool for only about 6 months, but, because there is no permanent storage site, they often stay there for years. Many power plants have had to enlarge their pools to make room for more rods. Permanent disposal of the spent fuel is becoming more important as the pools become more and more crowded. Obviously this is all time consuming and very expensive. Another method of temporary storage is now used because of the overcrowding of pools. This is called dry storage (as opposed to "wet" storage which we outlined above). Basically, this entails taking the waste and putting it in reinforced casks or entombing it in concrete bunkers. This is after the waste has already spent about 5 years cooling in a pool. SLIDE 4: There are many ideas about what to do with nuclear waste. The low-level (not extremely radioactive) waste can often be buried near the surface of the earth. It is not...
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