2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Nuclear Sustainability: Exploring SMR Waste Management

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Sondra Miller


As we aim for sustainable energy solutions, nuclear power becomes increasingly significant. However, effectively handling its waste is crucial. This poster explores two main methods for dealing with waste from Small Modular Reactors (SMRs): Dry Cask Storage (DCS) and Deep Geological Repositories (DGRs). DCS involves sealing waste in steel containers filled with inert gas, while DGRs bury waste deep underground. Both methods are generally safe, but they come with challenges like potential accidents, radiation exposure, space requirements, and costs. Although SMRs offer spatial efficiency, they also generate more radioactive waste. Currently, the US has 93 nuclear plants, producing 2,000 metric tons of waste yearly. With nuclear waste accumulation growing, finding effective storage solutions is urgent. This poster emphasizes the need for responsible and long-lasting strategies to manage nuclear waste, ensuring the safety of future generations in our evolving energy landscape.

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