The USA is the world's largest producer of nuclear power, accounting for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity.
A single uranium fuel pellet contains the same amount of energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal or 149 gallons of oil.
In response to growing concerns over nuclear waste storage, Congress passed the federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 1982.
The U.S. first began using nuclear power to produce electricity in 1957.
The amount of electricity produced by a multi-reactor nuclear power plant would require about 45 square miles of photovoltaic panels or about 260 square miles of wind turbines.
The intended method for providing long-term isolation of spent nuclear fuel in the U.S. and most other countries is mined geologic disposal.
As of May 2016, 30 countries worldwide are operating 444 nuclear reactors for electricity generation and 63 new nuclear plants are under construction in 15 countries.
Secretaries of Energy 1977 - present
The position entails guiding research and policy around energy production in the US, handling radioactive waste disposal, building nuclear reactors, and running the US system of national laboratories, as well as overseeing grants that fund a great deal of cutting-edge scientific research.
That's all in addition, of course, to maintaining the nation's nuclear arsenal.
1977-1979: James Schlesinger
1979-1981: Charles Duncan Jr.
1981-1982: James Edwards
1982-1985: Donald Hodel
1985-1989: John Herrington
1989-1993: James Watkins
1993-1997: Hazel O'Leary
1998-1998: Federico Peña
1998-2001: Bill Richardson
2001-2005: Spencer Abraham
2005-2009: Samuel Bodman
2009-2013: Stephen Chu
2013-present: Ernest Moniz
letter from the Sustainable Fuel Cycle Task Force
January 23, 2017
Dear Governor Perry,
On behalf of the Sustainable Fuel Cycle Task Force (SFCTF) Science Panel, we congratulate you upon your nomination to become Secretary of Energy. While there are many challenges facing the Department of Energy (DOE), we request that you make one of your highest priorities the restarting of the Yucca Mountain Project and putting our Nation’s stalled nuclear waste management system back on track.
Watch Now - Former Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on his nomination to be energy secretary in the Trump administration.
How Yucca Mountain Was Selected, Studied, and Dumped
Waste of a Mountain presents the story of the effort to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
The book also describes the history of the United States government’s actions that created the first-ever quantity of high-level radioactive waste and then managed it while the government developed the means, and completed the effort, to identify the approach and location to permanently dispose of that waste. It covers a time frame of more than seventy years and describes the nation’s journey through technically complicated, and societally and politically treacherous territories to unearth and implement the capability to dispose of high-level radioactive waste.
The book presents the extensive story of the Yucca Mountain siting effort in a manner that reflects a perspective from inside the project.All proceeds from the sale of the book have been donated to the Museum and will support the Yucca Mountain exhibits at the Museum.
$100 (shipping + $15)
Contact the Museum at:
email@example.com or 775-751-1970
Using data collected from the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, the map identifies where the agency has set up Superfund sites, where uncontrolled hazardous waste remains in the environment.
Dots in warm colors on the map represent the toxic sites scattered around the nation. The dots range in hue depending on the severity of a site’s hazardous ranking score, with red signaling a high score while dull yellow represents a low one.