Sweden is planning to store highly radioactive waste underneath the site of a nuclear plant in the coastal town of Forsmark, around 100 km north of Stockholm.
Last year, Finland approved the construction of an underground repository at the island of Olkiluoto, and other countries have yet to begin the process of selecting a site where radioactive waste can be stored permanently.
Michael Mueller leads Germany’s commission on the storage of highly radioactive waste materials, which is in charge of defining criteria on the basis of which the German government can decide where to build its long-term storage facilities for radioactive waste.
He said a European approach to the problem was preferable but unlikely.
Plan for one million years
While Germany has decided to shut down all of its nuclear power plants by the year 2022. The legacy of radioactive waste poses bigger problems.
“The repository to be created is to be for the next one million years,” said Mueller.
This single feature of the task makes it astronomically difficult to tackle the issue like any other political problem.
“Just go back 500 years. Nobody would have predicted that mobility would be as it is today and that digitisation would have been possible,” noted Mueller.
Imagine the time-scale of one million years.
A million years ago in Europe, the Neanderthal was not even yet around.
Since we cannot predict the future, it is impossible to know what is the most safe and cost-efficient solution, and nobody will be around to check.
Read more at German jibe at ‘dirty’ Swedish nuclear waste site