For the last half century, the disposal site in Barnwell, S.C., just south of Aiken along the Savannah River, has served as the dumping ground for nuclear waste from the eastern U.S. In 2009, it’s projected to take in 13,000 cubic feet of waste. That’s a lot of radioactive goop, but it’s also a lot less than in years past. Thanks to the Atlantic Compact Commission, as of July 1, the site only accepts waste from New Jersey, Connecticut, and South Carolina, dramatically lowering intake numbers from 45,000 cubic feet in 2006 to 33,000 cubic feet in 2008.
The Atlantic Compact is, in part, a result of the dump simply filling up. With 28 million cubic feet stored there already, there’s only an estimated 1.2 million cubic feet left of available storage. But that should be plenty enough to accommodate the nuclear renaissance Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Jim Clyburn keep spouting on about.