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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

NUCLEAR WASTES – theme for October 2012

Governments  are not facing up to the reality of nuclear wastes

This is particularly apparent in USA.  Here, the title tells it all :- Obama set up USA’s

Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future  –   Yes, that’s right – Future!  This agency,  – set up to decide what to do with USA’s escalating mountain of toxic radioactive waste  –  is apparently committed beforehand to the idea that nuclear energy has  a future.      Stopping producing the waste is not an option!

Just imagine, any housewife setting out to prepare a big dinner, and not even having some garbage container accessible !   But that idea never occurred to these nuclear enthusiasts

And let it not be forgotten – the Blue Ribbon Commission doesn’t even consider USA’s military nuclear wastes!

Of course, USA would like it to to be kept quiet, that they tried very hard, and secretly, to impose a nuclear waste dump on Mongolia. But they had to give up that plan, when it leaked out, and there was an outcry in Mongolia.

USA is still dallying with that sort of plan, having revived an old George W Bush sheme (GNEP) into the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Co-operation (IFNEC) – meaning that uranium supplying countries have to take the wastes back. (USA doesn’t care what they do with them back home)

The UK government is at least trying to grapple properly with the problem.  They are under huge pressure from the nuclear lobby, to set up geewhiz Gen IV technology.

 Still, so far UK is holding out for a “least worst” plan, of deep burial of wastes.  Of course, like the USA govt, UK still plans to keep on making nuclear wastes, with new nuclear reactors.   UK plans for deep bunker waste burial in Cumbria are, predictably, meeting with opposition from the locals.

Finland has the world’s first permanent storage facility for high-level nuclear waste, Onkalo, Located on Olkiluoto Island , just off Finland’s southwest coast. This enormous bunker  will take radioactive  will remain dangerous for longer than civilization itself has existed. It will be able to take only Finland’s wastes, no room for the rest of Europe’s.

Russia. Recent news reveals that Russia has been, over many decades, dumping nuclear wastes in the Arctic ocean.  The Soviet Union deposited nuclear wastes in Lake Karachay, Western Russia, said to be the most polluted spot on Earth. Still Russia  runs secret gulags for radioactive waste in Siberia and in the Southern Ural Mountains.

China   dumps its nuclear wastes in the lands of its ethnic minorities, such as Tibetans, and Uyghurs, with scant regard for their health.  Swift repression follows any protest. There is no freedom of speech about China’s highly secretive nuclear industry.

China now plans both to build an underground waste disposal, by 2050, and also to build nuclear reprocessing plants.

Japan still plans to build a deep nuclear waste repositary,  and until recently, favoured nuclear reprocessing. However, the reprocessing project has been  a financial and envoironmental disaster. Japan now struggles with its urgent Fukuhsima nuclear wastes problem, as well as its commitment to import plutonium wastes from other countries.

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