It’s time to stop talking about the material removed from commercial reactors as “nuclear waste” and to stop looking at the inventory as a burden on future generations. That labeling and that characterization of the material is a costly legacy imposed on us by people who do not like abundant, emission free nuclear energy and never wanted to provide power to the people.
A more accurate term for the material is “reusable fuel” and a better way to value the current storage areas is to recognize that they are a strategic fuel reserve for future generations that has already been dug from the ground and concentrated out of the rocks and sands where it was initially deposited by natural forces.
Of course, there is a potential hazard in sharing this thought publicly; taxing authorities may start asking how they should be assessing the material and how they can attract more of it into their community boundaries so they can reap revenues like they do from local accumulation of other valuable property.
Note: Credit for the newly coined term goes to Dr. Mohan Doss, who won a little contest held on the SARI discussion group over the past few days. In a previous version of this post, I misquoted Dr. Doss’s suggestion and added an unnecessary word into the term.