Atomic Insights reported yesterday that the blogger, Dan Yurman, who ran Idaho Samizdat has returned after two years with a new blog called Neutron Bytes. I read the articles at his site and I recommend them.
Curiously enough, Dan has an article about the total quantity of once through nuclear fuel:
How much spent fuel is out there?
According to the Congressional Research Service (using NEI data), there were 62,683 metric tons of commercial spent fuel accumulated in the United States as of the end of 2009.
Of that total, 48,818 metric tons – or about 78 percent – were in pools.
13,856 metric tons – or about 22 percent – were stored in dry casks.
BTW, I prefer to call it once through nuclear fuel. It hasn’t been spent, since 90% plus is unused and since there is still so much of it that can produce electricity, like I talked about yesterday, why call it waste?
For those of you who think that 63,000 metric tons (2200 pounds per metric ton) is a lot, consider all the coal ash and byproducts generated in the US each year – 125 million tons!
The 63,000 metric tons of once through nuclear fuel was produced over decades while providing a substantial percentage of the electricity used in the US.