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Gates: Waste Shouldn’t Deter Us from Nuclear Power

By NAM News Room

Nuclear waste is not a reason to refrain from using nuclear energy, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates advocated recently, according to CNBC.

What’s going on: “‘The waste problems should not be a reason to not do nuclear,’ Gates said in an interview with the German business publication Handelsblatt … The volume of nuclear waste is very small, especially when compared with the energy generated, Gates said.”

  • The total amount of waste for a fully nuclear-powered U.S. would amount to a few rooms’ worth, according to Gates, and it can be stored underground, “‘where it stays geologically for hundreds of millions of years.’”  

Why it’s important: “Nuclear power is classified as a ‘zero-emission clean energy source’ by the U.S. Department of Energy, because generating electricity with nuclear fission does not release any greenhouse gas emissions.”

  • Nuclear power accounts for 19% of the electricity generated in the U.S.

Stored safely: Nuclear waste is kept in dry casks, which are stainless steel containers encased in concrete. It’s a safe method, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the vast majority of nuclear waste is non-radioactive.

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