Topic: For my fourth topic, I would like to look at the United States nuclear waste disposal, and the Yucca Mountain waste disposal site. Compared to fossil fuels, nuclear power seems like it would be a viable option for generating electricity and powering the United States. Unfortunately, the process by which our nuclear plants create power is through fission, which requires the radioactive decay of uranium. This process also created nuclear waste, which is impossible to get ride of in a clean, and environmentally friendly manor. This problem leads to the necessity of needing to store the nuclear waste, but where, and for how long? I would like to look at the Yucca Mountain as the proposed site for the waste storage, and how long it take to fill a storage site like Yucca Mountain. Other possible questions are; how much waste is generated in a year? And what are other options for storing the waste?
Audience: The audience for this topic is the people who live in Nevada. The audience could also be the entire world due to the affects that nuclear waste could have on everyone.
Source1: Brumfiel, Geoffery. “America’s Nuclear Dumpsters.” Slate. January 30, 2013. Accessed March 25, 2016. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/nuclear_power/2013/01/nuclear_waste_storage_why_did_yucca_mountain_fail_and_what_next.html.
This article looks at the history of how Yucca Mountain was proposed as a site to store nuclear waste. It also looks at different ways to store nuclear waste instead of storing it in Yucca Mountain.
Source 2: The Yucca Mountain Nuclear Controversy. Macalester College. Environmental Studies. March 1, 2010. Accessed March 25, 2016. http://sites.psu.edu/math033spring16/2016/03/23/suggestions-for-blogpost-4/.
This project give a complete look at the proposed site for nuclear waste storage, Yucca Mountain. And what has been happening politically to stop the propositions to make Yucca Mountain a storage site.
Source 3: White, Adam J. “Yucca Mountain: A Post-Mortem.” The New Atlantis, no. 37 (Fall 2012): 3-19. Accessed March 25, 2016. http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/yucca-mountain-a-post-mortem.
This article gives some specific number for how much nuclear waste is generated by U.S. nuclear power plants. Such as The nation’s 104 operational commercial nuclear power reactors produce between 2,000 and 2,400 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel each year. This will be useful for analyzing how much nuclear waste can be stored in places like Yucca Mountain, as well as just how much waste is generated in a year.
Connection: All three sources will work together to help answer some of the questions I have asked. As well as to help give some background information on what has been going on with the United States nuclear waste issue.