In Sweden, A Tempered Approach To Nuclear Waste via npr

by Ingrid Becker

uly 28, 2011 from KQED

First in a two-part series about the long-term storage of nuclear waste

Two of three reactors at the Forsmark nuclear power plant in Sweden. The country lacks oil reserves and gets about half its electricity from three commercial nuclear plants.

At least two dozen countries around the globe get energy from nuclear power, yet not one has been able to pull off a permanent disposal site. Finding communities willing to live with such dangerous stuff has been a big sticking point. But in Sweden, two communities have stepped up, eager to take the country’s waste.

Like many countries, Sweden has had its share of political meltdowns over nuclear power. Protests stirred an uproar in the early 1980s when the Swedish nuclear industry simply decided where to begin testing for a possible geologic disposal site.

But today, instead of deflecting protesters, the nuclear industry shuttles visitors by the busloads for guided tours of facilities. More than 1,100 feet below the surface, exotic machinery and copper tubes wide enough to fit two men fill an underground cavern carved from crystalline bedrock.

In this working lab in eastern Sweden, a private nuclear waste company tests methods for permanently storing used fuel. It plans to encase the fuel rods in copper capsules, then bury them 1,500 feet down in bedrock where it is supposed to sit for the next 100,000 years.

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One Response to In Sweden, A Tempered Approach To Nuclear Waste via npr

  1. Pingback: The Atomic Age » Nuclear Waste Piles Up As Repository Plan Falters via NPR

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