If you are referring to the billions which went into the Dept. of Energy’s Nuclear Waste Fund, that money is being held by the government, and only the government has discretion over how it is to be spent. The commercial nuclear sector doesn’t have that money and has no access to it, and they are prohibited by federal law from coming up with an offsite storage solution or disposal repository on their own.
But the problem of figuring out what to do with our large supply of spent fuel and DU could become much simpler if we develop the option of consuming it as fuel, to produce a very large amount of non-carbon energy. (The current U.S. supply already holds more energy than humans have produced from all sources combined over the last 5000 years).
“instead of trying to make guinea pigs of US again and pay for your failed experiments?”
The advanced nuclear projects under development are mostly being funded by private investment, almost none of which is coming from the current nuclear industries. And the development research is centered on making nuclear power safe, clean, and economically competitive. It is a gross mischaracterization to liken that to human experimentation.
“It’s not like there are no alternatives now. We already have a nuclear reactor that can provide all the power the world wants in one day, more safely, more cheaply and one that isn’t used to build nuke bombs. It’s called the sun.”
And there it is. It is always panic, despair, gloom and doom regarding the enormous challenge we face of displacing fossil fuels–until there is any mention of advanced nuclear development. And then it’s all sunshine and pinwheels and it becomes rosy, breezy, cheap and easy to make do with the options we have–i.e. the very ones which, all combined, are currently failing to halt the continuing growth in fossil fuels, much less to even begin to displace them.
On our current trajectory, fossil fuel consumption will still be increasing through 2040. It seems ridiculously premature to be doing victory celebrations at this point, while we are still losing ground and while a turning point in the battle isn’t even on the visible horizon. We should be developing all our best options that can help to change the trajectory we are on. After we develop them, we’ll be in a much better position to decide which ones are the safest, cleanest, cheapest, most dependable, and have the least environmental footprint. If we are lucky, we will develop more options than we need. That is far preferable to the consequences of not developing enough.