Security, storage concerns linger at closed nuclear sites (November 2015)

US regulators still seek safe site for waste

VERNON, Vt. — Across from an elementary school, a short road leads to a gate topped by barbed wire and a stark sign that warns in large letters: Security personnel are authorized to use deadly force.”

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant stopped producing power last year, but rigorous security measures, including heavily armed guards in bulletproof towers, are still in place and will be for decades to protect hundreds of tons of radioactive waste that remain behind the gate.

The spent fuel will stay here along a bend of the Connecticut River, just 10 miles from the Massachusetts border, until the federal government can resolve a decades-old political battle over where to store the waste from the nation’s nuclear plants.

Across the United States, there are 22 decommissioned plants that have become heavily guarded repositories of spent fuel, their owners waiting indefinitely for a federal decision on where to permanently store the radioactive waste. About 150 miles away in Plymouth, Mass., the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station will enter the same phase after it closes sometime in the next four years and moves its waste into massive casks

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By David Abel Globe Staff November 26, 2015, Boston Globe

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