71,862 tons, with more created every year, and no permanent disposal solution
The nuclear crisis in Japan has laid bare an ever-growing problem for the United States — the enormous amounts of still-hot radioactive waste accumulating at commercial nuclear reactors in more than 30 states.
The U.S. has 71,862 tons of the waste, according to state-by-state numbers obtained by The Associated Press. But the nation has no place to permanently store the material, which stays dangerous for tens of thousands of years.
Plans to store nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain have been abandoned, but even if a facility had been built there, America already has more waste than it could have handled.