Exelon Corporation (EXC), Duke Energy Corp (DUK): How Much Nuclear Waste Does Your State Hold?

Page 1 of 2

One of the biggest critiques of nuclear energy is that it produces radioactive waste in the form of used nuclear fuel, or UNF. While the amounts are relatively small — just 20 metric tons per power plant annually — they remain radioactive for periods of time that are difficult for humans to comprehend. The waste adds up across the 100 nuclear reactors currently in operation across the United States. At last count, the country’s atomic fleet had produced approximately 69,720 metric tons of UNF over the past four decades.

More than 50 sites across the country are licensed for dry cask storage of spent nuclear fuel. Source: NRC.gov

Where does it all go? Power plants first store waste on-site in steel-lined concrete pools. After maxing out capacity, however, waste is stored in large dry casks similar to the ones pictured above. They may look intimidating, but there has never been a radiation leak since dry storage techniques were implemented in 1986.

Phew! No worries. But really, do you live in a state that hoards radioactive waste?

State-by-state breakdown
You may think that just because your state doesn’t have a nuclear power station it doesn’t have any nuclear waste. Of course, you may be wrong. While 31 states have an operating reactor, 38 contain at least some nuclear waste. That means seven states have really persuasive leaders! Here’s how it plays out for each state (numbers in metric tons):

Source: Nuclear Energy Institute.

If you live in one of the 12 white-colored states on the map above, you’re in the clear. For the rest of us, living within the same borders as spent fuel is just reality. Obviously, the states with more generating capacity will generate and therefore store more waste. The top 10 states hold 64% of all UNF in the United States.

State Metric tons of UNF
Illinois 9,010
Pennsylvania 6,290
South Carolina 4,210
New York 3,720
North Carolina 3,670
Alabama 3,320
Florida 3,040
California 2,970*
Georgia 2,690
New Jersey 2,660

Source: Nuclear Energy Institute.
*California’s total was updated as of Dec. 31, 2012 and is higher than what appears on the map. Sorry, California.

Who are the biggest culprits? Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) is responsible for the majority of the waste currently being held in Illinois and Pennsylvania (that comes naturally with 19,000 MW of annual nuclear capacity). It has managed to persuade Idaho to store used fuel from its Three Mile Island reactors, however. The reactors and storage facility are more than 2,400 miles away. Sneaky, sneaky.

Page 1 of 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

10 Things The World Can’t Stand About Americans

Picture Perfect: The 6 Smartphones with the Best Cameras

The 10 Best Countries To Work In the World

A Profitable Day At The Track: 5 Tips For Betting On Horses

Tearing You Apart: 6 Bad Habits That Ruin Relationships

Learning on the Job: The 6 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make

Shopaholics Rejoice: The 12 Biggest Malls in the World

Fright Night: 10 Horror Movies Based on True Stories

Mach Mania: The 10 Fastest Jets in the World

Military Heavyweights: The 10 Countries with the Most Tanks

All In: The 7 Richest Poker Players in the World

Abracadabra: The 10 Best Magicians in the World

The 10 Richest Asian Countries in the World in 2014

Eyes in the Sky: 10 Things You Need to Know About Drones

Rising Stars: The 6 Best Silicon Valley Startups

Military Muscle: The 5 Most Advanced Armies in South America

All that Glitters: The 7 Most Luxurious Jewelry Brands in the World

5 Things You Didn’t Know About ISIS but Should

Empowering Your Money: The 5 Best Energy Stocks to Invest In

The 11 Best Android Apps You Can’t Get on iOS

The 10 Most Important International Conflicts in 2014

Mood Enhancers: The 20 Most Uplifting Songs of all Time

Lover Beware: The 8 Countries that Cheat the Most

Breath of Fresh Air: The 25 Countries with the Best Air Quality on the Planet

Singles Beware: The 8 Worst Mistakes Made on First Dates

Healthy and Happy: The 10 Countries with Lowest Healthcare Costs

The 6 Best Company Team Building Activities to Build Workplace Camaraderie

Ships Ahoy: The 10 Busiest Shipping Ports in the World

10 Productivity Tips to Save You Time and Help You Do More With Less

Grab a Bite: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in America

Friday Night Thirst: The 10 Most Popular Cocktails in the World

The 6 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries We May Never Figure Out

7 Useless Products You Never Should’ve Bought

The 5 Reasons Why You’re Single and Miserable

The 7 Most Addictive Foods in the World We Can’t Stop Eating (Even Though We Should)

5 Amazing Places You Can Swim with Dolphins

The Top 7 Most Livable Countries In The World

The 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Pulled From A Pack

The 5 Easiest Second Languages to Learn for English Speakers

Silver Spoon: The 6 Richest Families in the World

The 20 Countries with the Largest Prison Populations in the World

The Top 10 Richest Actors in the World

The 10 Best Airline Stocks to Invest In Before They Fly Too High

Burger Kings: The 10 Most Expensive Burgers in the World

The 10 Most Ethnically Diverse Countries in the World

The 10 Most Exclusive Credit Cards in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Cruise Ships in the World

The 10 Fastest Supercomputers in the World

The 10 Best Countries for Doing Business 2015

6 Most Expensive Fruits In The World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!