This week, the Japanese government and the owner of the Fukushima nuclear power plant announced they’ve now stabilized the plant. They also acknowledged the final clean up may take a decade or more.
Japan’s nuclear disaster reminds us of the potential danger of the common practice of storing spent atomic fuel next to nuclear reactors. At Fukushima, spent fuel rods were damaged and released radiation, making the crisis even worse.
It raises an obvious question here in the United States: What should be done with the spent fuel that’s stored next to our own reactors? A presidential blue ribbon commission is due to offer its solution next week in a draft report. Its preliminary report is already out — it recommends burying the waste deep underground. But where? We got a rare tour inside a unique underground facility in the New Mexico desert that just might provide the answer to that question.