In our fourth episode of Nuclear Waste: The Whole Story we delve deeper into the downside of not having a permanent storage solution for nuclear waste.
Our guest is James Taylor, General Manager of the environmental division of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security and Environmental global business unit. Taylor talks about the long-term costs of the interim storage of nuclear waste.
According to an analysis by Deep Isolation, based on data from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Nuclear Association, more than half a million metric tons of high-level nuclear waste is temporarily stored at hundreds of sites worldwide. No country has yet implemented a disposal solution for spent commercial fuel.
Taylor explains the financial impacts of not having a permanent disposal solution for nuclear waste, pointing out that utility ratepayers and taxpayers are footing a bill that will continually amount to hundreds of millions of dollars annually until a solution is implemented. This isn’t just an issue in the United States: This is a global challenge impacting countries worldwide.
With most of the waste sitting in storage pools or above-ground dry storage facilities, interim storage has become a big business, costing $6 million to $8 million per year to manage these facilities.
Taylor brings a business-insider perspective to this issue. In his leadership role at Bechtel, Taylor has general management responsibility for the management and operation of high-hazard nuclear and chemical cleanup sites, facility decommissioning, field remediation, project management services and nuclear material management, treatment and disposition. This work includes managing projects for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management (EM) and the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).
While Deep Isolation is producing this series, any opinions expressed by either the interviewers or their subjects are not necessarily representative of our official position.