The problem of highly radioactive waste storage or disposal now has become one
of the most controversial aspects of nuclear technology. As the inventories of spent
nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear reactors and high-level waste from defense-
related processing plants have continued to mount, the issue has become increasingly
contentious and politicized. Paradoxically, as the need for action has become more
acute, conflict generated by the politicization of the issue has delayed progress on
developing a long-term solution to the problem.