Nuclear Waste: What It Is and How the United States Handles It

Nuclear waste related to nuclear energy can be divided into two categories: low-level waste and high-level waste. Currently, four low-level waste storage facilities exist across the country. Southern states can ship low-level waste out of state (with the exceptions of South Carolina and Texas, both of which house facilities, though South Carolina currently does not accept waste from other Southern states). For high-level waste, there is no long-term high-level waste storage facility in the United States. Therefore, high level nuclear waste is stored onsite or near active and deactivated reactors. This is seen as a temporary solution until a long-term high-level nuclear waste facility is built, which has been delayed for decades.

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