Energy: The Atom's Global Garbage

Carter unveils a plan for nuclear waste

In rural Cattaraugus County, 40 miles south of Buffalo, the West Valley nuclear reprocessing plant has been shut down since 1973, when the Getty Oil Co. ceased operations there. Meanwhile, the radioactive waste created by the plant is buried in landfill trenches. Some of the poisonous garbage periodically leaks into Cattaraugus Creek, which feeds into Lake Erie, the source of water for Buffalo and surrounding communities.

In France, a reprocessing plant at Cap de la Hague, near Cherbourg, stores its nuclear waste in giant steel tanks. But...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!