Blog by Deep Isolation Staff, June 22, 2020

Waste Disposal Issues Plague Nuclear Energy Industry

In the second episode of our new podcast and vlog series, Nuclear Waste: The Whole Story, we talk to nuclear energy industry veteran and Senior Director at NEI Rod McCullum about why it’s critical that commercial nuclear power companies find a permanent disposal option.

Nuclear power plants provide one-fifth of the United States’ electricity annually, according to Department of Energy statistics. Proponents herald it as a reliable zero-emissions source of energy while detractors say the risks of nuclear energy outweigh the benefits. Currently, futuristic advanced reactor technologies are being developed to compliment present day technologies.

Deep Isolation as a company does not take a position on the use of nuclear power.  Our focus is on providing a solution for the accumulated radioactive waste that is currently temporarily stored in spent fuel cooling pools and above-ground storage facilities worldwide.

A dry cask facility in Vermont.

“The good news with the nuclear industry is we contain all of our waste, all of our byproduct wastes,” says McCullum, Senior Director, Used Fuel and Decommissioning, for the Nuclear Energy Institute. “The bad news is we’ve still got them.”

In this episode, “Disposal Impasse Impacts Future of Next Generation Reactors,” McCullum explains why any failure to solve this problem could negatively affect the development of the next generation of nuclear energy reactors.

McCullum has 30 years of nuclear engineering, licensing, management and regulatory policy experience. Before joining NEI, he held positions with the U.S. Department of Energy and worked for several commercial nuclear power plants. 

You can listen to this interview and others on our website or subscribe to the series on your favorite player. Watch the videos on our YouTube playlist.

The opinions of the subjects interviewed do not represent Deep Isolation’s official position. Have a suggestion for a future topic? Email us at  podcast@deepisolation.com. Learn more at deepisolation.com/nuclear-waste-podcast.