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Nuclear Waste Management Map

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

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The following map provides a glimpse into the vast and varied context of nuclear waste management in the United States. By selecting a nuclear power plant, both operating and decommissioned, you can see that political party has little correlation to the important challenges faced in the storage of nuclear waste.


How to use the map

The map is colored based on the political affiliation of each state's governor and its senators. Each nuclear plant is represented by a circle: white cirlces for active plants and grey circles for decommissioned plants. Nuclear waste storage sites are represented by grey squares. Hover your mouse over a state to see information about the state's political makeup, hover your mouse over a nuclear plant to see information related to that plant, and hover your mouse over a storage site to see information related to that site. Nuclear waste is stored either in cooling pools designated as Wet, dry cask storage designated as Dry, or both. Click on a state to display corresponding nuclear and electricity sector information in the box below the map. You can view two versions of the CO2 emissions line graph by clicking on the graph. One version shows CO2 emission rates in pounds per megawatt-hour and the other shows emissions in millions of metric tons.

If you are experiencing problems with the map, a PDF document with states' nuclear information is also available.

Sources: Data for state outlines originally from U.S. Census Bureau, simplified by Michael Bostock; nuclear waste storage data from United States Government Accountability Office, Report to Congressional Requesters, "Spent Nuclear Fuel Management: Outreach Needed to Help Gain Public Acceptance for Federal Activities That Address Liability", GAO-15-141, October 2014; nuclear waste site data from United States Department of Energy, "Assessment of Disposal Options for DOE-Managed High-Level Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel", October 2014; capacity and emissions data from EIA; map rendering and animations use the D3.js JavaScript library.