Australia ‘came within an inch’ of agreeing to store over 30% of world’s spent nuclear fuel — Europe eyed next

Published: December 13th, 2011 at 9:38 am ET
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Nuclear countries came close to solving problem of radioactive waste, Mainichi Japan, December 13, 2011:

The disposal of radioactive waste is an issue that drags on the promotion of nuclear power generation. Unless a fundamental solution to the problem is found, all spent nuclear fuel storage facilities will be filled sooner or later, making it impossible to operate nuclear power stations.

Pangea

  • Group of nuclear experts [...] in 2002
  • Funded by nuclear energy-related companies
  • Secretly planning to build an international disposal site for spent nuclear fuel in Australia
  • “Came within an inch”
  • Fell through after an Australian news organization exposed it
  • [Group] confirmed that Australia, Argentina, southern Chile, South Africa and Namibia were the most geologically stable areas
  • [Would] store 75,000 metric tons of radioactive waste, totaling more than 30 percent of the spent nuclear fuel in the world

What happens if the nuclear industry no longer exists in the upcoming decades/centuries/millenia?

  • Gregg Butler, a core member of the group [...] had told Australian officials [...] the nuclear industry would last forever
  • Documents stated that it would cost [...] 400 million dollars a year to maintain [the facility]

Plan B

  • The group, which is now operating under the name of the Association for Regional and International Underground Storage (ARIUS)
  • Currently working out plans to build nuclear waste disposal facilities in Europe in cooperation with the European Union
Published: December 13th, 2011 at 9:38 am ET
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8 comments

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