Plan Could Reduce Waste Sent to Yucca Mountain
There is new interest in a plan to recycle nuclear waste, which could then be used again in a reactor to make electricity. Reprocessing could also reduce the amount of material destined for Nevada's Yucca Mountain.
Japan and France reprocess their waste, and the United States used to. In the early 1970s there was a reprocessing plant in West Valley, N.Y. It took waste from nuclear plants, extracted the plutonium and shipped it back to a reactor that produced electricity.
Detractors say reprocessing would be prohibitively expensive and presents an unacceptable risk that the technology could be used by terrorists to extract plutonium for bombs.
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