Where is nuclear waste now?

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are approximately 490,000 metric tons of radioactive spent fuel that is being temporarily stored in pools and dry casks at hundreds of sites around the world. No spent nuclear fuel anywhere in the world has been disposed of. 

Most of the waste is being stored in spent fuel water pools for cooling in buildings near the reactors. Some have been transferred to dry casks that are sitting on concrete pads or slightly below grade within a secured area on the site. See Figure 2.

In the United States, there are over 80,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel currently stored on-site at the nuclear reactors that produced it, including nuclear plants that have recently stopped operating and decommissioned nuclear plants. Explore the history of nuclear waste in the US here.

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