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Preface. One the greatest tragedies of the decline of oil will be all the nuclear waste left to harm future generations for up to a million years. We owe it to them to clean up our mess while we still have the fossil energy to do it, they won’t be able to discard the waste with horses and biomass-based energy like the civilizations before fossils that we’re returning to.  If we don’t do anything, nuclear waste will sit at  reactors, military and nuclear warhead sites.

The first of three articles below criticizes the deep borehole method of disposal that follow.  I disagree.  There are groups opposed to moving nuclear waste to a faraway site in case the train goes off the rails or there is a truck accident making it hard to use any repository anywhere.  Drilling a borehole onsite gets around that.  It is also much easier, faster, and far cheaper than new tunnel sites like Yucca mountain, which has cost $15 billion so far.  Of course there are issues with boreholes, but no showstoppers.  It is simply politically impossible to build large repositories. Nevada is one of the least populated states and it couldn’t be done there.  The perfect is the enemy of the good, so I vote boreholes.  Equally good, reopen Yucca Mountain, which the book “Too Hot to Touch: The Problem of High-Level Nuclear Waste” shows is a perfectly fine place– thousands of combinations of scenarios of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, high rainfall, and other hazards have been modeled and nothing released the wastes below.

Related: posts on nuclear waste, especially “A Nuclear spent fuel fire at Peach Bottom in Pennsylvania could force 18 million people to evacuate”


Krall, L. 2020. Nuclear waste disposal: Why the case for deep boreholes is … full of holes. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…