Frequent Questions

Where are the radioactive wastes that would go to Yucca Mountain currently stored?

These wastes are currently stored at commercial nuclear power plants and Department of Energy (DOE) facilities throughout the United States. Spent nuclear fuel is stored in specially designed water-filled pools and above-ground dry storage facilities. However, storage pools are reaching capacity at some nuclear power plants. Although these sites were designed for temporary storage, new dry storage technology permits extended at-reactor or on-site storage until a repository is eventually established. Liquid high-level wastes are stored in large underground tanks made of stainless steel or carbon steel. Some high-level waste has been solidified in a glass form. The remaining liquid waste must be solidified before it can be placed in the repository.

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