Why is Pennsylvania a nuclear dump site?

Along the Susquehanna River south of Three Mile Island and 40 miles from Baltimore is a nuclear power plant at Peach Bottom, Pa. It has the same design as the radiation-spewing Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. The U.S. licensed such plants to operate 40 years. Peach Bottom has been operating since 1974.

It was not intended to store nuclear waste long-term. When Peach Bottom's fuel rods become spent, they were supposed to be moved to a specially prepared site safely away from the plant. That has not happened.

Instead, after being cooled in an inside pool for about five years, Peach Bottom's highly radioactive, used fuel rods are now being stored nearby outside in vertical steel cylinders -- at an initial cost of approximately $1.5 million per cylinder. Called casks, the cylinders are spaced on concrete pads so air can circulate between them and disperse heat:


As shown below, the exact locations of Peach Bottom's casks are easy for anyone to find using Google Earth:

Photo of Peach Bottom's Storage Casks Dated April 2013

The long-term safety of the above casks remains in question. A 2011 earthquake centered about 20 miles from the North Anna, Virginia nuclear generating station caused most of its vertical casks -- each weighing 115 tons -- to shift, some by more than four inches.

That earthquake was also felt at Peach Bottom, which recently reported the latest in a series of leaks of dangerous levels of tritium into well water.

The plant is now reported as running out of space to store its deadly radioactive waste. See "Peach Bottom nuclear power plant could run out of spent fuel storage space in 2019," by Brett Sholtis, at this July 18, 2015 York Daily Record/Sunday News site: