Re: Too little, too late
by RAENORTH on Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:50 pm
Not wishing to rain on the parade, little has been done by way of safely disposing of the resultant High Level Radioactive Wastes over extremely long periods of time.This issue will be raised by the greenies and they do have a point to do so.We will have to monitor and safeguard these materials for many 1000s of years into the future.
Can we be sure that in our desire to keep the lights on now we are not leaving future generations to pick up the cost of disposal, or even worse having to deal with leakage of these materials back into the environment. Truth is, we cant really answer those questions honestly and it does raise a "moral dimension" to the problem.
One way or another, we've managed to look after the Tower of London (or, at least, the White Tower) since it was built in 1078. It is still standing and in remarkably good condition.
In principle, there is no great problem, therefore, in safeguarding nuclear waste properly stored deep repositories for considerable periods of time. The problem that exists is lergely because of the lack of political will in selecting a site and getting on with it.
That notwithstanding, the progressive introduction of high-burn reactors and the use of reprocessing minimises the amount of waste which, in volume terms, is actually very small. It is said that the total amount of high level waste produced from the French nuclear programme occupies an area the size of a basketball court.
I doubt future generations will be queuing up to visit the remains of 21st century nuclear waste
Future technology will improve to deal with these materials but it is rather relying on our descendents to cope with a problem for which they wont have a direct benefit.
I cant help feeling that they will not look too generously on us for leaving them our waste,it is hardly a proud face of British Heritage to passdown over many a millenium.Nor would it be ideal if some miscreant gets hold of nuclear weapon material in a ready made mine.