Thursday, June 27, 2013

Band-Aid Fix For Nuclear Waste

Is a band-aid fix the answer to what we should do with our nuclear waste?

WASHINGTON — As more nuclear reactors across the country are closed, the problem of what to do with their waste is becoming more urgent, government officials and private experts said at a conference here this week.
Yes, what to do with nuclear waste is urgent - welcome to the party people. What took you so long to get here? The ice is melting and the drinks are warming up, this party isn't fun.

You just have to read the full story that ran in the New York Times today Quarrels Continue Over Repository For Nuclear Waste. I know I should be delighted that at four bipartisan senators are looking at the problem but moving nuclear waste to a temporary centralized location is not the answer. Temporary won't work, we need permanent long term storage. And just so we all are on the same page 'long term' means 500 to 1000 years, got it?

Please read the article, take is seriously and think about it. Maybe you might even be moved enough to get a teeny bit involved? Like writing a letter and demanding that a permanent solution be found and that we can't keep putting this off.

I'm not going to chew and digest this information for you, but I will give you a few bullet points that might help to convince you to read the full story.

  • Nuclear waste is accumulating in steel and concrete storage casks at reactor sites around the country.
  • Experts say the amount of orphaned nuclear waste is mounting. 
  • Stored fuel requires guards and other continuing expenses, which are significant if there is no reactor nearby
  • The commission has long maintained that the fuel is safe there for decades, but some of it has already been stored for more than 30 years, and it seems certain to be stored there for decades more.
  • Some of the younger fuel shows signs of degrading with age.

UPDATED JUNE 28, 2013:

TWO great organizations

Both working very hard on the problem. Check them out they are deserving of your support.


  1. I'm going to read it right now. You have to love the phrase "orphaned nuclear waste", though. It's a downright cuddly term for something that can kill you and your family -- and continue doing so for generations. Okay, gotta go read now.

  2. I know, I absolutely wanted to break into a song from Annie. They are such clever bastards...

  3. It was a short article for such a huge topic. It didn't seem to be written with much care, either. For instance, the writer mentioned that they couldn't just bring all the nuclear waste together because it was "incompatible". That sounds horrifying, but what does it mean? He touched on many topics but did little to clarify any of them. It should have been a 12-page article (written by someone else). Still, it's hopeful that the Times at least mentioned the issue. It's been very hands-off about nuclear matters.

  4. Yes, it is sad that I get hopeful with "at least mentioned" by the Times. But when I read between the lines I read that there is no solution, we just wait until the "boom" comes, and in that context I see why the government has done nothing except retreat. When you are losing the war you keep quiet about it. After all there are such bigger threats out there, like Snowden?