Gimme a link. I couldn't find the photos of which you speak, but I did find an article from "In these times, 1987", in which, in accusatory tones, they describe the denitrating of actinide nitrates, with ammonia and spraying the resultant ammonium nitrate (i.e., sans actinides) on their own farmland. Seems reasonable enough to me, but then, I know some chemistry. To convert your waste from a stream of undisposable nitrates into a solid you can dispose of within the realm of government regulations, you take the nitrate groups off. You then have to do something with the nitrate groups that isn't going to piss people off, despite it's being non-radioactive and fairly valuable fertilizer otherwise. So, spray it on your own lands. Problem solved.
Best I can tell, the cattle thing is a synthesis. If you can link me the photos, I can probably help track down their source. They could be legit, but the fact is there are lots of sources of photos for mutilated and/or simply dead cattle. Hell, my wife grew up on a farm, and her family's entire herd died of a virus one year, ending their farming lives forever. Of course, I'm biased: I've seen some of the more zealous of environmentalists bald-facedly lie about important things; I would not ever put it past them to tell a whopper, even in picture form.
Meh. If it were legal, I'd let the industry bury a dry cask in my back yard. Those things are solid ultra-dense concrete and steel. Put it about 20m down below, and the spent fuel is really just not getting out. Hell, they're dens enough and thickly shielded enough that there's nearly no gamma flux, and gamma's damn near impossible to stop fully.
I'd do it because I'd have no fear whatsoever of any harm as a result. I know what's in there; I know what's protecting the world from it; I know it's sufficient.
I'd do it; besides the fact that I'd be storing all the nuclear waste needed for my lifetime as well as about 200 other people, I'd do it just to shut up all the NIMBYs and BANANAs.
NIMBYs are whiny, ignorant fuckers. Do you fear, say, Yucca Mountain? Then I consider you to be a whiny, ignorant fucker. Do you know why? Because you are demonstrably in no danger, and yet you feel you have reason to prevent what is an otherwise necessary action.
If you're curious about the working of nuclear energy - specifically breeder reactors, Wikipedia's actually surprisingly accurate for a topic that can be sometimes controversial.
There's also a relatively new American project working on MSRs, called LFTR, run by FLiBe energy. Google for that if you're interested; they've been putting all their 30,000 foot technology documents online.
Breeders don't burn waste, at least, not until it's been enriched further. Then the tailings can be bred and the HEMO (highly enriched mixed oxide) can be burned; then the tailings must be reprocessed to pull out the bred Pu-239 and put into the fuel stream, rinse and repeat until it's all changed into fission products, which you then sit on for about 300 years.
This carries a proliferation risk that's been the bane of any fast reactor project - you're making and breaking out the best isotope for making nuclear weapons. Mind, you'll often see refuel/reprocessing cycles tuned to make sure a lot of Pu-240 and Pu-241 are produced (which are very, very bad for weapons making, largely for predetonational reasons), but that's a variable that can be changed without a fundamental change to the design of the plant. And, in my opinion, any safety feature that's held in place through sheer force of bureaucracy is not to be trusted.
MSRs have a better plan - though none have been built yet. Basically, since the whole system is fluids (i.e., molten salts with dissolved fissiles in), you can, in theory, do your reprocessing continuously deep inside the reactor building via basic lanthanide and actinide chemistry. You're still breeding a weaponable material (in this case, U-233), but it never has a need or opportunity to leave the reactor. Basically, it's trapped in there until it's fission products, at which point it's not weaponable. Proliferation resistance that has physical barrier to back it up. It's a good thing.
while not taking care of their trash
The agreement was that fees would be paid to the government which would (in theory) be used to build a central repository at which location the US government could choose to store or reprocess the waste. The fees have been (and are being) paid. The repo has not come to pass, however.
they should be required to have full insurance up to chernobyl style accidents
Power companies are liable for up to $2B/GW, which is significantly more than was spent cleaning up TMI. The cost of Fukushima, by the way, despite being a natural disaster that's going to cost Japan orders of magnitude more than the clean-up costs of the plant, is being mostly paid for by TEPCO, with the government chipping in about a third.
I just need enough to tide me over until I need more. -- Bill Hoest