Bloomberg reports that while U.S. lawmakers have spent decades debating where to put spent fuel generated by the nation’s nuclear power plants, an unintended site has emerged: Illinois.
About 13 percent of America’s 70,000 metric tons of the radioactive waste is stashed in pools of water or in special casks at the atomic plants in Illinois that produced it, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a Washington-based industry group. That’s the most held in any state.
Since 1998, the U.S. government has been required by law to remove nuclear waste from plants and haul it to a secure disposal site. In 1987 Congress designated Nevada's Yucca Mountain as a safe site and spent billions of dollars preparing it. However, it never opened after President Obama cut further funding for it in 2010 at the urging of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat.