Skip to content

Nuclear legacy is a costly headache for the future via Climate News Network

June 28th, 2021, by Paul Brown

How do you safely store spent nuclear waste? No-one knows. It’ll be a costly headache for our descendants.

LONDON, 28 June, 2021 − Many states are leaving future generations an unsolved and costly headache: how to deal with highly dangerous nuclear waste.

The decision to start closing down the United Kingdom’s second generation of nuclear power stations earlier than originally planned has highlighted the failure of governments to resolve the increasingly expensive problem of the waste they leave behind them.

Heat-producing radioactive spent fuel needs constant cooling for decades to avoid catastrophic accidents, so future generations in countries that have embraced nuclear power will all be paying billions of dollars a year, every year, for at least the next century or two to deal with this highly dangerous legacy.

report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its Nuclear Energy Agency looks at 12 member countries facing the problem: Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

The report shows that none of the 12 has yet got to grips with the legacy bequeathed by producing nuclear waste. None has any means yet of disposing of it. It says every country must quickly realise that the money the industry has put aside to deal with the problem is inadequate, leaving successive future generations with the bill for keeping themselves safe.

Failure to progress

Finland is closest to dealing with the internationally preferred route for making spent nuclear fuel safe: building an underground repository in rocks deep underground to store and ultimately seal up the waste in this final burial place.

The Finns have actually started building such a facility and regard it as the complete solution to the problem, even though it is still decades away from completion.

Finland’s progress is a shining example to the rest of the nuclear world. International rules require countries that create nuclear waste to deal with it within their own borders − yet most governments have failed to make progress on doing so. Some have spent decades looking for a suitable site and have failed to find one.

This has often been because local opposition has forced governments to abandon a chosen location, or because scientists judge the site too dangerous to store wastes for the required 100,000 years or so, because of poor geology. They may suspect a risk that the radioactivity could leak into water supplies, or rise to the surface and kill unwary future generations.

The funding shortfall has become much more problematic because of low inflation and the current Covid pandemic. Governments previously put money aside on the assumption that economies would constantly grow and positive interest rates would create massive long-term investments.

The UK, one of the pioneer nuclear states because of its race to develop a nuclear bomb, is a classic example of leaving the grandchildren to pay for nuclear wastes.

But the current low or negative return on government bonds means investments made in the past and designed to pay huge future bills will no longer be enough to deal with the cost of spent fuel and other high-level wastes.

The report says governments’ assumptions have proved optimistic. It is not directly critical of governments, but points out that “the polluter pays” principle is not being applied. New funding needs to be found, it says, if future generations are not to be saddled with this generation’s expensive and life-threatening legacy.

The UK, one of the pioneer nuclear states because of its race to develop a nuclear bomb, is a classic example of leaving the grandchildren to pay for past and present nuclear wastes.

As early as 1976, in the Flowers Report on nuclear power and the environment, the UK was warned that it should not build any more nuclear power stations until it had found a way of getting rid of the waste. The government agreed.

Since then, for more than 40 years, successive governments have been looking for a repository to make good on their promise. But none has yet been found, and none is expected until the current target date of 2045.


Read more.

Posted in *English.

Tagged with .

25 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. negin says

    توسعه تجارت مواد اعتیاد آور که هرساله زندگی تعداد زیادی از مصرف کنندگان را به ورطه نابودی میکشاند، ترک اعتیاد تریاک در خانه میتواند بزرگترین و ترسناک ترین تهدید برای تمام جوامع بشری باشد، تریاک قدیمی ترین و مشهورترین مخدری است که بسیار اعتیاد آور بوده و اکثریت از عوارض کشیدن تریاک با سیخ و یا تزریق آن بی اطلاع هستند

  2. DG Customer First says

    Thanks, very impressive. Really I appreciate you to continue your work.

  3. Indigo Card says

    Great ..
    Nice Article Thanks ..

  4. Erode Escorts says

    Read more at Exclusive ON CLICKING PROFILE LINK
    Erode Escorts

  5. Gebelik Belirtileri says

    Gebelik belirtileri, gebelik takibi, gebelik süreci, anne-bebek, hamilelik ve gebelik hakkında aradığınız tüm bilgilere ulaşabilirsiniz.

  6. slot says

    Playing slot to be successful is that. Of course, techniques and methods are necessary and extremely important. That will make you a winner and receive rewards from various websites that provide services for spinning

  7. 인도 비자 온라인 says

    Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that “The content of your post is awesome” Great work.

  8. burp suite crack says

    Wonderful submit, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector do not realize this. burp suite pro crack

  9. adobe photoshop cc crack says

    webroot secureanywhere antivirus key crack license is the latest protection package for a much better security policy on your Windows computer. You can find impressive features integrated into this article. webroot key is a lightweight antivirus that protects your device from virus-like threats through cloud-based protection. free webroot keycode delivers cloud-based security technology.

  10. pdf xchange editor crack says

    ccleaner pro crack is a system optimization, privacy, and cleaning tool for Windows PC. Removes unused files from your system, allows Windows to run faster, and free up hard drive space. CCleaner Pro License Key also removes traces of your online activities, such as online history.

  11. Moh Kadd says

    globly feed

  12. adobe illustrator crack says

    Very nice article and a great for various design, web, and video applications anytime, anywhere. It is believed to be faster and smarter than any previous announcement. Adobe Illustrator Serial Number is publication includes various new, improved tools and design tools that provide more ways to improve every aspect of your project.

  13. ataköy veteriner says

    Veteriner Kliniğimizde, vermekte olduğu hizmetlerle yalnızca Yeşilköyde’da değil, Medlinevet acil veteriner ile tüm İstanbul ve türkiyedede de adından sık sık söz ettirmeyi başarmış bir organizasyondur. Her zaman bilimi ve teknolojiyi referans alarak büyümek, üretmek, gelişmek ve kurumsallaşmak önceliklerimiz arasındadır.

  14. airport transfer says

    Easy-peasy with Private Chauffeur

    The airport transfer istanbul service will minimize this distraction so that you can stay focused on your business trip while your private chauffeur handle the rest.
    The chauffeur-driven vehicles that we employ have been carefully selected to match your personal preferences for size, color, and other features that will make it easier for you to concentrate on your tasks.

  15. avast premium crack says

    IObit Software Updater Pro Crack is a tool for checking and downloading up-to-date updates for installed programs.iobit software updater pro 4.3 key

  16. 에볼루션코리아 says

    Evolution Gaming Korea Service is open. [ 에볼루션코리아 ] The best evolution in Korea. evobench Evolution Korea offers a unique and unique experience, fun, and enjoyment. Good best evolution in Korea!

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.