This article discusses the promotion of Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) by US Department of Energy. GNEP is a strategy for dealing with the accumulation of radioactive waste from power plants by reprocessing some of the spent fuel. The primary domestic benefit of this initiative would be to reduce the quantity of plutonium and other transuranic waste that would have to be buried in Yucca Mountain, the Nevada site identified as the national depository for nuclear waste. The objective of GNEP is to fission all of the transuranics, aside from process losses. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study scaled its cost estimate to 62,000 tons of spent fuel because that is approximately the amount of spent fuel that the Nuclear Waste Policy Act allows to be placed in Yucca Mountain before a second repository in another state is in operation. The huge cost of the GNEP would likely be more of a burden than a help to the future of nuclear power in the United States.

You do not currently have access to this content.