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Friday, September 25, 2009

Nuclear Waste

This morning I received a call from some people who have formed a committee to prevent the "dumping of nuclear waste into the Ogallala Aquifer"; their concern is the storage of low-level nuclear waste (contaminated clothing, for example) at Andrews, Texas. That caller requested that I be connected to a state agency to register my opposition. Well, that led to a talk with a very nice man in Washington with the Department of Energy, thence to joining the Union of Concerned Scientists (ah, you say, she follows threads oddly).

I have been opposed to nuclear power for decades, because of the waste problem. No matter how you slice it, that is unsolved. The half-life of the radioactive materials that are considered "waste", in terms of the actual liquid waste of a nuclear power plant, is 10,000 years or so (but who's counting?), and there is no really safe way to store it in my opinion.

Some environmentalists, such as Stewart Brand, are advocating we use nuclear power to save the air quality that remains. I believe this is short-term thinking, but who am I to say? There are no easy choices these days.

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