Nuclear submarines have been around since the 1950’s, so figuring out what to do with the radioactive waste is a problem when it comes time to decommission them. From the US EPA website:
“Due to peace treaty agreements made between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union in the 1980’s, hundreds of nuclear submarines are being decommissioned. In this process, the submarine’s nuclear reactor compartment is carefully removed and dismantled at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. Because the various parts of the reactor compartment have become contaminated due to years of reactor operations, the materials are stored and monitored at the Department of Energy’s Hanford site. The reactor fuel is removed and sent to the Naval Reactors Facility in the Idaho National Laboratory. With the help of various government organizations, this radioactive waste is stored and monitored closely.”
So they are decommissioned, and their fuel is stored in a safe place. More information can be obtained at the website below.
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