May 28, 2017 | Updated: 10:45 AM EDT

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Plutonium Discovered As Nuclear Waste Disposal Agent

May 12, 2017 04:47 AM EDT

One of the double-shell tank farms containing six underground tanks is seen on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation
(Photo : Jeff T. Green/Getty Images)

For over two decades, the US Congress has been in an entangled debate us to how the government is going to dispose of their accumulated nuclear waste materials stuck up in underground tunnels in Washington State and Georgia. The time has come to decide when tragedy struck the Washington depot of nuclear waste materials. Incidentally, Plutonium came to the picture, not as an aggressor element but the solution of the long going congressional debate.

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Plutonium's discovery as a cleaner of nuclear waste came on time with this tragedy. The US Government gave Dr.Thomas Albrecht Schmitt of the Florida State University a $10 million fund to expedite efforts in his research in the disposal of nuclear waste.

Dr. Schmitt's discovery of the very special plutonium properties shed light on his direction towards creating a solution to the problem. He said that plutonium is not as complex as previous research indicated. Plutonium's lab behavior is just like any other lighter elements pattern and there are so many ways to treat its applicable properties like the nuclear waste cleanup that's been in their sights for decades now.

Rare electronic properties manifesting in behavioral patterns are part of the observations that Dr. Schmitt and his team have records of Plutonium. The heavy metal emits various vibrant colors that make it so extraordinary above other elements in the periodic table, reports Physics.Org.

The tragedy in Hanford, Washington could be a wake-up call for Dr. Schmitt and his team. The US Government needs action on the researchers' part to somehow implement the answers to the decade's old problem of nuclear waste disposal.

As of now, there are no signs of radioactive leaks in the nuclear waste material stockpile, says the US Department of Energy. They are continuously monitoring the situation and the local government stands ready to assist for any emergency action. Plutonium is present as one of the hazardous element at this time, reports CBS News.

Time is of the essence for the solution to clean up the nuclear waste stockpile. The US government is spending about $2 billion per year in their budget of $107 billion till 2060. Plutonium might just be the answer in getting rid of nuclear waste.