When You Don't Like the Original Story,
Just Re-write it...
This way of dealing with things may work for fairy tales but it should not happen with history or with our nuclear power policy.
AP IMPACT has a great article on this, I urge you to read the full story at AP IMPACT: NRC and industry rewrite nuke history
If there is one thing you can say about the NRC they certainly aren't opposed to changing their collective minds. One of the things the AP IMPACT article points out is that back in the 60's and 70's regulators stated "unequivocally" that nuclear reactors were designed to operate for only 40 years. Now it seems they have changed their minds as we enter the re-licensing phase on existing nuclear power plants.
I don't suppose the industry had anything to do with this change of mind, giving the fact that the older reactors are largely paid for by now, which certainly adds to the production profits. I am just a little bit suspicious, can you tell?
Another item of interest not covered in this particular article is the fact that the NRC has extended the period of time that spent fuel can be safely stored on-site in the spent fuel pools. This time extension oddly enough coincided with the quashing of the Yucca Mountain spent fuel storage facility. Hmm, I find that curiouser and curiouser.
Originally back in that 60's and 70's period of our baby stepping into the unknown world of nuclear power, the DOE was to take ownership of all spent fuel from commercial power plants and transport this spent fuel to a safe and PERMANENT LONG-TERM storage facility. And when I say 'long-term' I mean forever and ever..... for like thousands and thousands of years.
Well, politics and a lot of nimby-ism got in the way and currently nuclear plant operators are having to hang on to their on S**T just a little bit longer. But who knows maybe the NRC will have a change of mind one more time and decide that spent fuel can be safely stored in Hefty bags - problem solved.