Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Deferred Disaster 

Here is a disaster that the US keeps pushing into the future. Nuclear waste has long been the weakness of the atom industry, and nothing has been done to resolve it. Rather, every attempt to resolve it has been defeated by citizen groups and states that don't want a nuclear dump near them. So now, the waste is not only near centers of population, it is stored in sub-optimal conditions that will become a problem again in dozens of years.

From a PR perspective, power companies with nuclear plants will be the focus of citizen ire sooner or later. It takes only one accident, spill or other event that causes a release, however minor, to touch off angst. It is not the fault of the power companies. They have wanted to get rid of their waste long ago, but they can't. There is nowhere to ship it, and the US won't engage in waste reprocessing to condense the material into safer and shorter-lived isotopes. Our children, grandchildren or great grandchildren are facing a disaster that we are producing for them today.


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