Feeds

Act now to bury nuclear waste, gov told

These things take time, Royal Soc warns

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The government must act now to dispose of Britain's nuclear waste, the Royal Society has said, because the process itself will take decades.

Based on current scientific knowledge, the society said, the best option for dealing with the byproducts of the country's nuclear reactors is to bury the stuff in deep concrete bunkers.

The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) has also spent the last three years looking into the storage options, and had already concluded that "deep geological storage" is the best option right now.

The body is set to issue its final report later today (Monday).

Currently, most of the UK's nuclear waste is distributed among 37 surface storage tanks, with most of it stashed at the Sellafield site.

The vast majority of the waste - 350,000 cubic metres of it, is classed as intermediate level waste (you can read up on the classifications here).

Relatively small amounts of the most hazardous material, high level waste (2,000 cubic metres), and around 120,000 cubic metres, combined, of plutonium, uranium, spent fuel and low level waste, are also in need of a permanent home.

"It is important that we act with urgency because identifying appropriate sites and then consulting on and building these deep storage facilities will take decades," society vice president Sir David Wallace said.

Sir David also called for an ongoing national dialogue on the issue of nuclear waste disposal including, but not confined to, the undoubtedly thorny issue of site selection.

Although the waste will be stored several hundred metres underground in reinforced concrete bunkers and in land considered geologically suitable for long term storage, it will be an unusual homeowner who would welcome a site in his neighbourhood.

Further, because setting up proper disposal facilities will be such a slow process, robust interim solutions are also needed, the society said.

The cost to the taxpayer of storing the waste, both short and long-term, is likely to be around £70bn over the next 40 years. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.