Norman, Jason

I am pleased that you have chosen the term "used fuel" to refer fuel bundles discharged from our neclear reactors, rather than the more common terms "spent fuel" or "nuclear waste". These fuel bundles still contain nearly 99% of the uranium they did when they were manufactured, along with a small but significant amount of plutonium, and to consider them "spent" and permanently bury them as "waste" would be a tremendous waste of a potentially valuable energy resource. It is very possible that fission energy will be an increasingly important energy source in the future. There are computer validated designs for modular, factory assembled, passively safe fast neutron reactors that could revolutionize the nuclear power industry. These reactors would be capable of efficiently using natural, depleted or recovered uranium fuel over the long term, but would require significant amounts of plutonium for their initial commissioning. This would transform this element from liability that nobody wants into a valuable commodity in short supply, and to render 100 tons of plutonium inaccessable knowing this possibility would be highly irresponsible. On the other hand, it is also possible that the future will bring other, environmentally superior energy sources that will replace nuclear power. Given this uncertainty about the future of nuclear energy, I would suggest that the current practice of storing used fuel at reactor sites is the simplest, lowest risk way to keep all of our options open and should be continued until we are in a position to make a better informed decision about it's ultimate fate.

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