Are there any areas of the U.S. that would welcome a nuclear waste disposal site in order to bring jobs into the area?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes, and some already have. The WIPP site (Waste Isolation Pilot Project) in Carlsbad, New Mexico is an example of such a phenomenon. It is a deep underground site where radioactive waste, most generated by the production of nuclear weapons, is placed in salt caverns that are expected to contract around the waste and eventually entomb it more or less forever. WIPP has been in the works since the 1970s but after decades of studies, regulatory activity and tunneling through salt deposits, it finally began accepting waste in 1999. The community around Carlsbad has been economically depressed for a long time and the selection of the WIPP site nearby has generated jobs for several years now. There is, of course, opposition, as there will be in any community, but given the example of WIPP I can easily see a majority of a community deciding that the benefits of the economic stimulus outweigh the dangers of storing waste there. This is particularly true because waste repositories will necessarily be located in outlying, sparsely-populated areas, and it’s not very likely that residents of a town will be subjected to direct effects of decaying nuclear waste. Therefore, they’re likely to see all benefit and little downside, barring some sort of major catastrophe (which is far less likely with a nuclear waste disposal site than an active nuclear facility like a reactor or weapons plant).

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