National Geographic : 1991 Aug
TUFF PILE Formed of compacted volcanic ash and dust, tuff from excavations would be piled at the surface-then used later to reseal the tunnels. SURFACE FACILITY Delivered by rail or truck, nuclear waste would be unloaded at two buildings, resealed in steel or copper canisters, then transported via ramps to the storage area below. PAINTING BY PIERRE MION FINAL BURIA Lowered into bc would be moniti years. Then tun ramps would be / / HOW TO BURY RADIOACTIVE WASTE TO DISPOSE OF used fuel from com mercial power plants, an amount expected to total 44,000 tons by the end of the decade, the federal govern ment proposes placing sealed canisters of waste in boreholes a thousand feet below Yucca Mountain. Concerns about poten tial volcanic activity, earthquakes, or ris ing of the water table-and objections to the way their state was chosen-have prompted Nevada officials to reject the plan. Their opposition, as well as the sheer difficulty of the task, may delay the opening of such a facility beyond the tar get date of 2010.