Exposing UK Government Folly of Investing in New Nuclear

Letter from Prof Andrew Blowers to The Guardian: In 1976, Lord Flowers pronounced that there should be no further commitment to nuclear energy unless it could be demonstrated that long-lived highly radioactive wastes could be safely contained for the indefinite future. Ever since, efforts to find a suitable site for a geological disposal facility have been rejected by communities. There is, therefore, little evidence to support the government’s claim that “it is satisfied that effective arrangements will exist to manage and dispose of the waste that will be produced from new nuclear power stations”. Deep disposal may be the eventual long-term solution but demonstrating a safety case, finding suitable geology and a willing community are tough challenges and likely to take a long time. The search for a disposal site diverts attention from the real solution for the foreseeable future, which is to ensure the safe and secure management of the unavoidable legacy wastes that have to be managed. It is perverse to compound the problem by a new-build programme that will result in vastly increased radioactivity from spent fuel and other highly radioactive wastes which will have to be stored indefinitely at vulnerable sites scattered around our coasts. A new-build programme would create an unmanageable and intolerable burden on communities into the far future. To suggest that a repository is the solution is in the realm of fantasy.

Guardian 24th Jan 2018


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