Researchers it can then be reused. The recycling process

Researchers have been study possible ways
to safely launch highly radioactive materials into space because neither space
shuttles nor rockets would be able to do so in their current states. Therefore,
a new launch system would have to be setup and put into place where the
launcher remained on the ground in order to do so. The idea place in space that
scientist thought the waste should ultimately go was out of the solar system
because less could go wrong.  Safety is
the other major concern when it comes to launching waste into space. If space
was to be chosen as the site for nuclear waste over all other options, it would
have to display lower risks than any of the other suggested waste disposal
techniques.  While there are certainly
risk with this solution there are some potential benefits of launching nuclear
waste into space, one of those being that by disposing of radioactive waste in
space, it would then be permanently removed and would no longer be a problem that
future generations would have to deal with. Even so, space disposal is not the
obvious solution to the nuclear waste problem and more possible solutions
should continue to be explored.

There are
experts that have suggest that reprocessing is the solution to the problem.
They believe that Yucca Mountain is in fact not the permanent solution to
dealing with nuclear waste and that reprocessing is the only way. First things
first, nuclear waste is recyclable. After reactor fuel has been used, through
the process of recycling it can then be reused. The recycling process involves
separating all of the good stuff from the bad stuff, so separating uranium and
plutonium from other waste so that it can then be reused in nuclear power plants
to produce more electricity. By upgrading nuclear power plants so that they are
able to reprocess nuclear waste, thousands of jobs are created and the problem of
what to do with all that nuclear waste becomes less of a problem now. France
has already been able to successfully implement this process and in turn has created
reprocessing plants that have created upwards of 11,000 jobs while also putting
about $624 million dollars back into the economy. What they do is they send
used fuel from nuclear power plants to a recycling facility and there it is
cooled down for three years, after which it is separated for recycling. Any
material that could not be recycled is then stored until a proper repository is
built. The problem with trying to implement a recycling facility in the United
States is that there is a ban that was placed on nuclear fuel recycling back
under the Jimmy Carter administration that still stands to this very day. If
such a plant were able to be built, it might provide an answer to the nuclear
waste problem. Another problem that lies with trying to recycle nuclear waste
is the threat of terrorist acquiring materials to create nuclear weapons. Since
plutonium separated in not highly radioactive and it doesn’t have to be as
securely stored as it would normally have to be, there is a fear that it would
be much easier to steal. Plus the amount that these plants are handling is so
large that it would be almost impossible to keep track of everything. The
United States had always had the goal of stopping the spread of nuclear
technology, permitted under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which can
still be used as materials for nuclear weapons. In trying to reprocess nuclear
fuel, the United States would be undermining themselves. Reprocessing isn’t
cheap either. It’s estimated that it would cost an extra 3 to 4.5 billion
dollars a year in order to reprocess fuel and the costs of all of this would be
coming from the American public. Probably the most compelling argument against
building recycling plants in the United States is the idea that these plants
would actually reduce the need for storage for the disposal of nuclear waste.
It would in fact actually increase the amount of waste needing to be disposed
of, while also diverting resources and funds from the United States’ efforts to
find the ideal location for a geologic repository.  

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The
Nuclear Waste Policy Act was put in place in order to promote the use of
geologic repositories for high level nuclear waste. A plan of action was put in
place to evaluate certain sites to determine if they were fit for these
repositories. The Department of Energy was to be responsible for not only
finding the site, but also the building of the site along with the operations
of disposal. Potential sites for nuclear disposal have been researched since
the 1970s and since it’s been found that the safest place to store nuclear
waste is underground, most of these sites being researched have been located
under mountain ranges. There were originally 12 locations that the DOE deemed
ideal as potential sites for waste disposal. Through public outcry and the fear
of how this would impact politics, in what was then an election year, led to
all potential eastern site locations for radioactive waste being removed as a
possible choice of site. The final selection came down to three potential
sites, Nevada, Texas, or Washing. Ultimately The Nuclear Waste Policy
Amendments Act of 1987 was able to narrow the list down to one specific site,
Yucca Mountain, which was located in Nevada. There was plenty of backlash that
came from this final selection and there were even members of congress have
admitted that the amendments act they passed in 1987 wasn’t driven by safety
and environmental considerations, but was in fact driven by political
considerations. Even though Nevada objected to being chosen as the site for
nuclear waste, congress continued on knowing that Nevada’s political influence
was much more limited than both Texas and Washington.