The storage and disposal of nuclear waste has long been a controversial topic in many countries.
GV truck containing nuclear waste drives down road in Nevada desert and crashes into wall (THREE SHOTS)
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV canisters containing nuclear waste being loaded onto truck
GV ZOOM IN TO nuclear test site in Nevada desert
GV truck at site with spent fuel element canister on back
SCU technician measuring radiation with geiger counter
SV & CU technicians placing spent fuel elements into canisters using remote-controlled mechanical arms (TWO SHOTS)
GV canister being carried to silo by crane (TWO SHOTS)
GV & CU canisters being placed in silo for observation (TWO SHOTS)
GV & TILT DOWN minehead gear
SV technician drilling hole in granite below surface (TWO SHOTS)
SCU hole in granite leading to nuclear waste silo
GV & SV rubble being removed from cavern by bulldozer (TWO SHOTS)
GV technicians at work at test site
NEAL: "To prove that nuclear waste can be safely transported, the Department of Energy used trucks with rocket engines, accelerated to more than eighty miles an hour, then crashed them into walls. Canisters containing nuclear waste survived in good condition.
"Now, to find out how nuclear wastes can be stored safely, the Energy Department has gone to its test site in the Nevada desert, where nuclear bombs have been set off for more than a quarter century. Spent fuel elements, cores from nuclear power plants, are brought here.
"Geiger counters show they are still radio-active. They are handle very carefully. The cores are put into stainless steel canisters, which are welded air-tight. One spent -- but still radio-active -- fuel element has been placed in a heavily-instrumented concrete silo above ground, at a site once used to test nuclear rocket engines. Four more, in stainless steel jackets, will soon be implanted in shallow holes for observation.
"And, at a distant location within the test site, holes are being drilled in granite, fourteen hundred feet below the surface. Eleven radio-active cores, encapsulated in stainless steel, will be placed here. All of the sites will be monitored closely. Three-to-five years from now, the Department of Energy will announce the results, hopeful that these tests will prove that nuclear wastes can be stored safely. Roy Neal, NBC News."
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Background: The storage and disposal of nuclear waste has long been a controversial topic in many countries. In the United States, the Department of Energy has been carrying out a series of tests to show that nuclear waste can be safely stored. This report from NBC's Roy Neal.