"WASHINGTON — The threat of the release of highly radioactive spent fuel at a Japanese nuclear plant has revived a debate in the United States about how to manage such waste and has led to new recriminations over a derailed plan for a national repository in Nevada.
Pools holding spent fuel at nuclear plants in the United States are even more heavily loaded than those at the Japanese reactors, experts say, and are more vulnerable to some threats than the ones in Japan. However, utility companies have taken steps since the 9/11 terrorist attacks to make them safer.
Adding to those concerns, no plan to move the waste has emerged to replace a proposed repository at Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert. President Obama promised to cancel the project during his 2008 campaign, and last year he told the Department of Energy to withdraw an application that it had submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a construction license."