US plants prepare long-term nuclear waste storage

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Nuclear power plants across the United States are building or expanding storage facilities to hold their spent fuel - radioactive waste that by now was supposed to be on its way to a national dump.

The canisters used to store the waste on-site were envisioned as a short-term solution when introduced in the 1980s. The canisters, or casks, are now the subject of reviews by industry and government to determine how they might hold up - if needed - for decades or longer.

Most of the waste remains in pools. But with the pools at or nearing capacity, the majority is expected within a decade to be held in dry-cask facilities. Only three of the country's 62 commercial nuclear sites have announced plans to build their own.

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