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Can Nuclear Waste Keep Yucca Mountain Dry--and Safe?

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Science  15 Dec 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5243, pp. 1761-1762
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5243.1761


Scientists don't wonder whether nuclear waste will leach out of its containers at the proposed Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada, but when. Researchers have recently proposed a new twist on an old idea: using the waste's own heat to boil corrosive moisture out of the mountain rock and keep the containers dry. By placing storage tunnels more widely apart than has previously been suggested and making some other storage changes, the scientists suggest the tunnels might stay dry for 1 million years. But skeptics point to a few leaks in the current models behind this plan.