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The Price Of Nuclear Energy

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The Price Of Nuclear Energy

Since the advent of atomic power, over 30 countries across the world have been operating 437 reactors to produce what many believe is a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels for generating electricity. However, nuclear energy comes with its own waste, which the World Nuclear Association has estimated totals about 12,000 tons per year.

Now, nuclear plants are struggling to find a way to dispose of that waste, which has been piling up in temporary holding facilities for years.

Japan's Waste Crisis

Japan's devastating nuclear accident at its Fukushima plant has left the country to deal with years of cleanup before the problem has been completely resolved. The nation's decision to restart one of its reactors this week has led many to question what it's going to do with the 17,000 metric tons of radioactive waste that are being held at temporary storage sites.

Related Link: America's "Least Loved" Green Energy Source

U.S. Storage

The U.S. is up against a similar challenge; the nation operates the highest number of reactors and has struggled to find a place for the near 49,000 tons of waste that have been produced. A $15 billion plan to build a nuclear refuse site in Nevada was upended by angry residents who were unwilling to store the stuff in their backyard.

Australia Looks To Make Some Cash

With the mining boom in Australia cooling down, the nation is considering nuclear waste storage as a possible new revenue stream. Mining companies like GINDALBIE METALS LTD (OTC: GDBGF) have been bidding to create nuclear refuse sites in Western Australia as the government struggles to find a place to store radioactive waste.

The bids to construct the repository are expected to be worth about 27 million Australian dollars, something that the nation's struggling miners say could revive their balance sheets.

Image Credit: Public Domain

 

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