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The whole idea of a GDF (geological disposal facility) is flawed thinking and needs to be revisited.

John Laband 27 June 22, The whole idea of a GDF (geological disposal facility) is flawed thinking and needs to be revisited. CoRWM (committee on radioactive waste management) must face up to the harsh reality that there is no informed expert opinion that doesn’t acknowledge that the physical barrier between the environment and the high level waste material (spent nuclear fuel rods) will likely break down long before the radioactivity has decayed to safe levels.

What went wrong was the way the committee, 10 yrs ago, dealt with all the alternative suggestions for dealing with the waste material and there were about 10 of them. It literally drew a red line through each of the alternative suggestions and there was no discussion about their merits.

The excuse given was that at the time there was no worldwide precedent or experience of each of them. The exception was the GDF plan which already existed in the USA at Yucca mountain in Nevada and the WIPP pilot project in New Mexico. So the UK approach was to jump on that bandwagon and CoRWM has spent the intervening time trying to induce local communities into accepting their plan for an underground nuclear dump. Including attaching the idea to a plan for an undersea coal mine.

Unfortunately for CoRWM the Yucca mountain site has been abandoned. There is nothing there now except a boarded up exploratory tunnel and an accident has happened at the WIPP site leading to radioactive contamination on the surface.

In addition the US is no longer adding to its fund to provide a national disposal site. It has gone back to dry storage of waste on site in concrete casks.

In my opinion CoRWM needs to abandon it’s one track policy and go back to the drawing board and look at all suggested schemes in detail. In the meantime safe modern storage facilities need to be constructed on the surface and a moratorium adopted on the production of anymore waste from fission reactors.

Cancel any further expansion of nuclear electricity generation and scale down existing facilities to zero. We cannot at the moment handle the mounting pile of high level radioactive waste.

June 28, 2022 - Posted by | UK, wastes

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