Feeds

Act now to bury nuclear waste, gov told

These things take time, Royal Soc warns

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.