After 43 years of cranking out electricity, the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant is shutting down. The plant was licensed until 2033, but will go offline 17 years earlier than planned. United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission/Flickr hide caption

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United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission/Flickr

Waste, Families Left Behind As Nuclear Plants Close

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Flares at the Bridgeton Landfill outside St. Louis burn off noxious fumes, including those generated by an underground fire that's been burning since 2010. The "fire" is really a high-temperature chemical reaction that consumes the waste below the landfill's surface. Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio hide caption

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Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

Landfill Fire Threatens Nuclear Waste Site Outside St. Louis

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Scientists who work for nuclear waste disposal projects in Finland, Canada and Sweden study an ice sheet in western Greenland. Courtesy of Vincent F. Ialenti hide caption

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Courtesy of Vincent F. Ialenti

Workers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are still investigating what caused a radioactive release at the site, but organic cat litter may be the culprit. DOE/WIPP hide caption

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DOE/WIPP

Organic Cat Litter Chief Suspect In Nuclear Waste Accident

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A worker drives an electric cart past air monitoring equipment inside a storage room of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M., shown in this undated photo. Anonymous/AP hide caption

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Anonymous/AP

This laser's just pretty, not powerful: Artist Yvette Mattern's laser rainbow in Whitley Bay, England, earlier this year. Bethany Clarke/Getty Images hide caption

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Bethany Clarke/Getty Images