Front cover image for Nuclear waste disposal:  not in my backyard

Nuclear waste disposal: not in my backyard

Public perception of the problems associated with nuclear waste disposal are not based so much on technological and economic considerations as on the unanswered question of how safe is safe enough. The Carter administration is seeking a consensus to support a retrievable, deep geologic repository, but interim measures are needed to handle the present spent-fuel storage problem. A range of management and disposal strategies is already available for low- and intermediate-level wastes, but each involves controversial trade-offs. Locating an acceptable site for storage has raised the most confusion and disagreement. Among the options discussed are geologic formations (salt or granite) in which the waste would be in either retrievable or non-retrievable form, polar ice sheets, or deep-sea disposal. Barriers to retrievable disposal resulting from the characteristics of the wasteform, the canisters used, and the geologic medium used for storage are reviewed. 18 references
Article, 1978