How Is Nuclear Energy Stored?

Most nuclear fuel is stored in steel-lined, concrete pools filled with water, as stated by the Nuclear Energy Institute. Some of the nuclear energy facilities that store the nation's nuclear energy also use airtight steel canisters when the pool has reached storage capacity.

Nuclear power was developed during World War II, and it was initially sought after for the production of bombs. Since then, nuclear power has turned into a viable energy source that supplies over 11 percent of the world's electricity, and more than 430 commercial nuclear power reactors have been created in 31 countries, as the World Nuclear Association's data shows.

Around the United States, designated nuclear sites have been built to store nuclear energy and waste. Typically, the sites are comprised of multiple concrete storage casks in which the unused fuel or waste is contained. For example, the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation in Connecticut houses 40 canisters of nuclear energy storage and high-level radioactive waste. Strategies to manage the nuclear fuel and waste are constantly being addressed to ensure that the storage is as safe as possible. Sophisticated instruments are used to measure the conditions of the storage pools and the water itself naturally obstructs radiation leaks. Plants that have run out of space using pool storage have resorted to steel canisters that are airtight and sit above ground.