Policy: Environment & Energy

Graveyard for former parts of nuclear reactors in West Texas

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Where do old nuclear reactors go when they retire? No, not to a nuclear reactor nursing home. Radioactive parts from nearly 100 reactors across the nation are finding a final resting place in West Texas, where a private company called Waste Control Specialists is burying them.

The New York Times' Matthew Wald writes:

For 95 reactors in 29 states, [Rodney] Baltzer’s company is the only place that will take some categories of low-level waste. “We definitely haven’t won a lottery,” insisted Mr. Baltzer, the president of WCS. But, he acknowledged, “there’s obviously a large payback for what we’ve got invested.” The company in fact looks likely to collect a substantial part of the disposal fees paid for nuclear waste nationally, which the industry puts overall at $30 billion. Mr. Baltzer says that number is high, and that the total is probably more modest — say $15 billion.

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