I am trying to establish an argument against nuclear power, without any grasp of the scientific exchanges that are going on. One aspect, however, seems to be clear. It is the entire process of nuclear energy production that must be scrutinized and there is a growing belief that the Achilles heel of nuclear power is the issue of nuclear waste and what to do with it.
From what we understand, it might take thousands of years for nuclear waste to break down into a compound that is not dangerous to the environment. This fact alone makes the storage of nuclear waste to be one of (if not the most expensive) stage of the process. There are several methods that are currently used, though none purport to have such lasting ability.For a list and explanation of current methods, please click here.
As the storage of nuclear waste builds and the experiments work or not (how do you measure the success of a storage technique that needs to last thousands of years?) there inevitably will be failures. I am not trying to be obnoxious, but this is the nature of experimentation. It’s a shame that my chemistry teacher didn’t subscribe to this when I blew up some compound over a Bunsen burner.
Do we even want to experiment with such dangerous materials? Our lab is our planet and so far, it is the only one we’ve found with decent cappuccino.
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).