US Top Nuclear Regulator Advocates Back-end Effort for Nuclear Energy Users

 US Top Nuclear Regulator Advocates Back-end Effort for Nuclear Energy UsersAll nuclear energy users, including Japan, must find safe ways of storing radioactive waste said the top U. S. nuclear regulator.

On Friday, in Tokyo, Allison Macfarlane, head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said that an underground repository is needed but finding one is a challenge. She advised countries that are just about in the way of introducing nuclear energy to have plans for the storing of the nuclear waste at an early stage.

Her comment comes as Japan confirms its new energy policy that reverses a phase-out plan set by the previous government after the Fukushima disaster in March 2011.

Reports say, Japan has no final waste repository, not even a potential site has been planned for. The U. S. government's plan for building a repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada has been halted by strong local opposition due to safety concerns.

Macfarlane told reporters, "In the nuclear community, we of course have to face the reality of the end product - spent fuel."

Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pro-nuclear government, the new policy is also expected to stick to Japan's shaky fuel cycle program despite international concerns about Japan's massive plutonium stockpile.

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