Nuclear Waste and the Race for Resources - 11.06.2011





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Published on Nov 5, 2011

Nuclear power and fossil fuels are mainstays of the U.S. economy, providing about 90 percent of the energy we use today. But there are long-term consequences. Nuclear power plants generate highly radioactive waste that needs to be safely stored and the competition between nations for finite fossil-fuel resources is heating up. This week, energyNOW! explores how America is dealing with these challenges.

What To Do With America's Nuclear Waste?
Nuclear power plants generate about one-fifth of U.S. electricity, and don't release the greenhouse gases scientists have linked to climate change. But tens of thousands of tons of spent fuel rods are stranded at the nation's 104 commercial nuclear reactors. They can't be moved because construction of a proposed nuclear waste dump outside Las Vegas has been halted, and the state of Nevada is fighting to make sure it will never be completed. So where else could all that nuclear waste go?
Correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan visits one community that's already home to a nuclear waste storage site that could one day also accept spent fuel rods from America's nuclear power plants.

Interview: NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko

Less than eight months since an earthquake and tsunami triggered a major nuclear disaster in Japan, America is poised to approve the first construction licenses for new nuclear plants in three decades.

Anchor Thalia Assuras sits down with Gregory Jaczko, Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to discuss the U.S. response to the meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, radioactive waste storage and upcoming decisions about new nuclear reactor construction.

China's Race for Resources
China and the U.S. are neck and neck in energy consumption, but China's energy needs are expected to rapidly grow to almost double America's demand by 2035. Where will all that extra energy for both countries come from?

Chief correspondent Tyler Suiters went to China as part of energyNOW!'s "The China Factor" series to see how the international race for ...


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