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World Nuclear Waste Report

The final disposal of high-level radioactive waste presents governments worldwide with major challenges that have not yet been addressed, and entails incalculable technical, logistical, and financial risks. This is the conclusion of the first “World Nuclear Waste Report ‒ Focus Europe” launched in Berlin in November.

The World Nuclear Waste Report (WNWR) is a project by a group of renowned international experts who want to draw more attention to radioactive waste as a significant and growing challenge with no long-term solutions yet available. The project was initiated by Rebecca Harms, and the original outline was produced by Wolfgang Neumann, Mycle Schneider (coordinator of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Reports) and Gordon MacKerron. Numerous experts have contributed to the first edition of the WNWR (including former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair Allison Macfarlane).

The WNWR aims to make a substantial contribution to understanding nuclear waste challenges for countries around the world. It does so by describing national and international classification systems, the risks posed by specific radioactive waste forms, generated and estimated future waste quantities, the waste management and disposal strategies of governments and their financing mechanisms.

According to the WNWR, over 60,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel alone are stored in interim storage facilities across Europe (excluding Russia and Slovakia). Spent fuel rods are highly radioactive waste. To date, no country in the world has a repository for high-level waste from nuclear power in operation. Within the EU, France accounts for 25 percent of the current spent nuclear fuel, followed by Germany (15 percent) and the United Kingdom (14 percent).

In addition, more than 2.5 million cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level waste has been generated in Europe (excluding Slovakia and Russia). Over its lifetime, the European nuclear reactor fleet will produce an estimated 6.6 million cubic metres of nuclear waste. Four countries are responsible for most of this waste: France (30 percent), the UK (20 percent), the Ukraine (18 percent) and Germany (8 percent).

According to the WNWR, many governments underestimate the costs of interim and final storage. No country has a consistent financing model to date in places. This poses further financial risk for taxpayers.

Marcos Buser, a Swiss geologist and co-author of the report, said: “Increasing amounts of high level waste have to be interim stored for ever longer periods of time, as no country in the world has yet commissioned a deep geological repository for such waste. The problem is that interim storage facilities have not been designed for such long-term use.”

The Swiss nuclear expert warned that the storage facilities are already reaching the limits of their capacities. For example, storage capacity for spent fuel in Finland has already reached 93 percent saturation. Sweden’s decentralized storage facility CLAB is at 80 percent saturation. “The shutdown and decommissioning of many nuclear power plants will again drastically increase the quantities of nuclear waste,” warns Buser.

In addition to the safety aspects, the report identifies the enormous costs of interim storage and final disposal as another risk. “National governments and operators often significantly underestimate the costs of decommissioning, storage, and disposal of nuclear waste,” said Ben Wealer, co-author of the study and industrial engineer at the Technical University of Berlin.

In many countries there is a large gap between the expected costs and the financial resources earmarked for them. The problem would be exacerbated by the fact that final disposal also involves incalculable risks, which could lead to enormous cost increases, as the German government experiences with the Asse repository illustrate.

Nearly every government claims to apply the polluter-pays-principle, which makes operators liable for the costs of managing, storing, and disposing of nuclear waste. In reality, however, governments fail to apply the polluter-pays-principle consistently. “No country in Europe has taken sufficient precautions to finance the costs of the final disposal of nuclear waste. There is a threat that the real, massive costs will ultimately be borne by the taxpayers,” Wealer warned.

Ellen Ueberschär, President of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, said: “The numerous unsolved problems in dealing with nuclear waste show that nuclear power has no future. At the same time, the report makes clear that phasing out nuclear power is not enough. Insufficient financial provisions for disposing of nuclear waste must not undermine the care and safety of decisions for interim storage and final disposal. The search for a suitable final repository needs greater public attention. The report is intended to facilitate a qualified international debate.”

World Nuclear Waste Report

World Nuclear Waste Report 2019 ‒ Focus Europe:

November 17, 2019 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, wastes

1 Comment »

  1. The fascists always let their corporate benefactors, cut and run They let a corporation destroy an area like fukushima, then they laugh lie and bully for much more fun. The soviets did not abandon chernobyl as TEPCO IS DOING IN japan. Tepco is doing a pretencleanup , while pulling back from the multiiple catastrophe site..
    The nuclear fascists leave nuclear catastrophes with mirthful abandon Like the 30 or so small nuclear reactors launched into earths orbit that still orbit and any one of which could poison half the usa and generat an emp that would cripple half of north america.
    The Nuclear Reactor and nuclear waste in Greenland that is exposed by climate change.
    They will abandon fukushima like they abandoned the downwind victims. As fuko lies and abandons Hanford, Santa Susana, and all reactor oversight in murica. We live in a surreal fantasy world.
    Japan exports the worst radioactive tainted food in History.

    Obama’s Munoz was a nuclear whore. He did not deregulate nuclear reactor supervision. It does matter in spite of what the counterintelligence spooks say. No matter how many rabbit hole lies and false narratives, they generate.

    Parking 100s of thousands of dirty bombs outside in shabby containers all over america.

    abrogating nuclear treaties.

    forcing nuclear reactors on the verge of meltdown, to stay opened

    nuclear space race

    massive subsidization of uranium exploitation.

    driving up the nuclear proliferation and nuclear war threats by creating a new cold war

    corruptly expotring nuclear weapon technology and nuclear reactors to saudi arabia

    Many of the thin skinned, dirty bombs already at san onofre that were made by infamous Holtec. 40, 000 tons of twenty ton dry casks, outside odessa, texas parked on concrete pad. Each of the hundreds of caks is a massive dirty bomb-signed sealed and delivered by fuko and rick perry.
    Rick and fuko have pushed through a deal for holtec to place 60,000 more tons on them drycasks in New Mexico and west Texas. . If you thought WIPP was bad .

    Prone to open air fires and eclposions in the flimsy5-8 inch skinned, and ofted damged casks. 20 tons of the moste radioactive, pyrophoric, decay heat generating radionuclides known to humans.

    A fire and or explosion in one of the casks parked so close to hundreds of others, outside, will set off other casks. Any such catastrophe could saturate a large area in the USA. Most areas, of the shithole nuclear usa, are already heavily radionuclides.

    There will be be 2 or 3 reactor catastrophies soon as well.

    The poser counterintelligence operatives will rail on about rabbit holes, while these nuclear criminals rage on. It is all under their watch and encouragement.

    It has always been bad but, now it is many times worse.
    Americas junta and pronunuclear-bonafied hormesis ghouls, certifiy their nuclear insanity and degregulation under fuko the clown. They brag about it.

    If u think the junta coup in bolivia is bad, just come to radioactive sewerville, murica.
    Many places, as bad as fukushima in murica. Soon there will be more and worse

    Comment by anonymous | November 18, 2019 | Reply

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