Despite the upsurge in support for nuclear power as a solution to more carbon intensive fuels, no solution has been found to deal with the waste from nuclear plants. Currently, as this report in the NYT indicates, nuclear waste movement and burial from 100 US reactor sites is more than 20 years behind schedule. Due to legal agreements and court orders, the federal government has been forced to pay the utilities running these plants over $300 million, and will have to pay from $7-$11 billion (or more) in the coming years to decades. However, the federal waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, will not be ready to accept waste until 2017-2020 (and perhaps never, given other scientific issues and transport lawsuits). For every year beyond 2020, the federal government will have to pay the utilities keeping waste at the site of the nuclear plants an additional $500 million.
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