Spent fuel rods from a nuclear reactor are considered highly reactive waste and thus, it is critical that scientists find ways to discard of or store fuel rods. Currently, fuel rods are stored in temporary storage pools. These storage pools are filled with boric acid which helps to absorb some of the radiation from the spent rods. Spent fuel rods are only supposed to lay in these pools for a duration of six months, but because there are not many options for the disposal of nuclear waste, the spent rods end up in these pools for years.
Another temporary storage place for spent fuel rods consist of entombing the rods in reinforced casks and concrete bunkers. These “dry” storage places are usually located close to the reactor site.
Ideas for permanent storage of spent fuel rods include burying the waste under the ocean floor, shooting the waste into space, and storing it underground. In the United States, spent fuel rods will be stored in casks underground at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
There is some talk of recycling spent nuclear fuel rods. However, very few people are actually doing it. It is a tricky process from what I understand.
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