Three officials nominated to fill seats on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission indicated this week that they would not stand in the way of a shutdown of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste program.
But one suggested that because it now looks as if radioactive spent fuel will remain at power plants for the foreseeable future, their steel-and-concrete storage canisters should be checked for safety.
"When we first started storing spent fuel at reactor sites, nobody was thinking it was going to be there for 100 years," said William Magwood, a former Department of Energy official. "I think we have to go back and take a look at what we have in place now and assure ourselves it is able to stay in place another 50 years if necessary."
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