The web site titled This is North Scotland published a short article about a recent Labor Party resolution favoring the construction of new nuclear power plants. The article stated that the engineering union Amicus and the National Union of Mineworkers support the notion that nuclear power must be included as part of a balanced energy strategy.
However, there is an existing policy in Scotland that no new nuclear power plants can be constructed unless the “waste” issue is solved.
The publication has a comment feature, but the character count is limited. I posted a short comment, but here is what I would have said if I had more space.
Nuclear energy production by-products are already stored and handled in a manner that is far superior to the way that the by-products of all other energy sources are handled. The material does not become “pollution” since it is carefully inventoried and stored.
There are known methods of separating the long lived materials out of the waste stream and putting them back into reactors to be transformed into short lived materials by hitting them with enough neutrons to break them into other isotopes.
In other words, the “waste” issue is a red herring. For many years the anti-nuclear establishment that favors all other energy sources over nuclear power has focused on trying to constipate the industry by claiming that the issue must be resolved, but they refuse to listen when nuclear technologists tell them of the many ways that the issue has already be solved.
No one in the world has ever been injured by exposure to spent nuclear fuel. That is not because the material is harmless, it is because we know its hazards and can plan safe methods of handling and storage.
Please rest assured that I am not claiming perfection and realize that there may be some problems to solve in the future. However, I passionately believe that the waste issue for nuclear energy is far less daunting that the many waste issues that plague the fossil fuel industry.
Editor, Atomic Insights