William H. Miller is a professor with the University of Missouri’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute. Here’s an excerpt explaining that nuclear “waste” is actually extremely valuable fuel:
(…) Reprocessing has great potential value for the United States. Using it along with breeder reactors would recover 90 percent of the original energy that remains in the fuel after one use in a reactor. And it would extend uranium resources for hundreds of years and reduce by at least 50 percent the amount of long-lived nuclear waste that would need to be stored in a deep-geologic repository. Additionally, the heat and toxicity of such waste would be reduced, enabling the United States to store all of the long-lived waste from power reactors and the weapons program in a single repository instead of having to find sites and pay for the construction of multiple repositories.
Such a reprocessing plant could be located at the Savannah River Site. Both South Carolina senators — Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint — are outspoken supporters of nuclear power who favor the idea of building a used-fuel reprocessing plant at this nuclear installation.
Another facility to convert surplus weapons plutonium into MOX fuel for power reactors is under construction at the Savannah River Site, providing thousands of jobs and revenue for South Carolina.
How ironic that Congress has approved the processing of weapons plutonium into MOX fuel for commercial electricity production but has yet to do the same for reprocessing used fuel stored at nuclear power plants. This contradictory policy is absurd.