Cumbria County Council rejects waste depository

Is nuclear fission going to make a comeback and plug the gap in our energy needs? Will nuclear fusion ever become energetically viable?

Moderator: Peak Moderation

User avatar
emordnilap
Posts: 14622
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: Hou�sʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹ��llʎ uoʇ �oɹʇɥ ʇɥ� �ɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ �ʌ�u qoʇɥ�ɹ˙

Post by emordnilap »

There were three voted for it. :lol:
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
User avatar
Totally_Baffled
Posts: 2824
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Hampshire

Post by Totally_Baffled »

Someone educate me here.

The only "solution" to the UK's nuclear waste problem is long term storage (are there other options?)

In which case, someone is going to end up living near a nuclear waste storage facility? Indeed the waste will remain mainly at sellafield until if and when a site is found?

I know, I know, the answer ideally would have been not to generate the waste in the first place, but its here - we have to deal with it, so where do we put it? (that nobody would object to?)

Buggered if I know! lol :D
TB

Peak oil? ahhh smeg..... :(
Snail
Posts: 908
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:50 pm

Post by Snail »

I'm glad this was turned down.

Maybe North Africa? :shock:
User avatar
emordnilap
Posts: 14622
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: Hou�sʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹ��llʎ uoʇ �oɹʇɥ ʇɥ� �ɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ �ʌ�u qoʇɥ�ɹ˙

Post by emordnilap »

Maybe nuclear supporters could host small containers of waste in their homes?
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
User avatar
RenewableCandy
Posts: 12675
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: York

Post by RenewableCandy »

Cumbria has inappropriate rocks. They move about. Cornwall and Aberdeen have Granite, which is better.
Soyez réaliste. Demandez l'impossible.
Stories
The Price of Time
User avatar
PS_RalphW
Posts: 5805
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Cambridge

Post by PS_RalphW »

Agreed that deep burial is the only real option for the nuclear waste we have generated already. The solution for nuclear power stations we are planning now is not to build them.
User avatar
clv101
Site Admin
Posts: 8771
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Contact:

Post by clv101 »

I think the above ground nuclear waste issue is the largest nuclear problem we have. The top priority needs to be to get it deep underground - before we lose the ability of securely manage it.

Such a deep underground facility is going to take a long, long time to complete and we might not have very long. For this reason I think this is a mistake. Nowhere is perfect and I expect Cumbria is 'good enough'.

For me we should be building 'good enough' now, so we've got a chance of getting this stuff deep underground soon. Adding an additional delay of many years (which would be case if we went back to square one and looked at Cornwall and Aberdeen) could be a fatal mistake. Not a risk I'm willing to take given my expectations for grid security over the next couple of decades.
User avatar
biffvernon
Posts: 18539
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Lincolnshire
Contact:

Post by biffvernon »

RenewableCandy wrote:Cumbria has inappropriate rocks. They move about. Cornwall and Aberdeen have Granite, which is better.
Yes, Cumbrian geology is all too itsy-bitsy - you want a big, big lump of granite. I would think it might be best to pay a lot of money to Finland and ask them to share their big hole (if they've any sense, and they probably have, they'll say no.) Failing that, Aberdeenshire might do. The Lewisian gneiss of north-west Scotland might work too - it's like granite but with stripes, rather than spots. It's been there for 3 000 000 000 years so should have settled down by now.

Delay is not necessary and certainly not wanted. But the Cumbria choice looks too much like political expediency (which backfired today) rather than geological expediency. Many folk have been saying this for a very long time.
Snail
Posts: 908
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:50 pm

Post by Snail »

Spent some time earlier trying to find out what other countries plans were. France, usa, japan etc.

And apart from Finland (&sweden+france to lesser degree), nobody else seems to have a definite plan or location to store this stuff. Seems to mostly be: store it above ground in an intermediary place, and hope the future will provide.
User avatar
biffvernon
Posts: 18539
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Lincolnshire
Contact:

Post by biffvernon »

Yes, Finland seems to be the only country with a half credible policy, as seen in the brilliant film 'Into Eternity'.

Back to Cumbria and for those who think yesterday's decision was wrong, this is a good paragraph:
The three councils deferred a decision in October because of unease over a guaranteed right to withdraw right up until construction work started, and to look at alternative disposal methods. Evidence given by Prof Stuart Haszeldine (Haszeldine), a geologist at the University of Edinburgh, played an important part in raising concern. He said: "This has been a very short-sighted policy, run by driving local councils into volunteering for the wrong reasons: financial inducements. A lot of information is being suppressed in the process to entice councils into accepting technically flawed sites.

He recalled how a £400m examination of a site chosen close to Sellafield in the 1980s and 1990s was eventually abandoned due to the highly complex and fractured nature of the geology. He said: "I am very concerned we are heading into a cul-de-sac as before. Ultimately, do we believe in evidence-based policy or political opportunism to exploit communities with limited economic opportunities?" Deep geological disposal was the best long-term solution for nuclear waste, but only if the site is suitable.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... ar-storage
User avatar
RenewableCandy
Posts: 12675
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: York

Post by RenewableCandy »

Thank you, the Good Prof.

The only plan I'd personally be happy with is the one outlined by Prof Fergus Gibb of Sheffield: deep burial 4 km down in granite, which fuses/vitrifies in the heat produced by the waste. It's then practically impossible to dislodge by all but the most determined (and energy-rich) possible future civilisation.
Soyez réaliste. Demandez l'impossible.
Stories
The Price of Time
User avatar
clv101
Site Admin
Posts: 8771
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Contact:

Post by clv101 »

RenewableCandy wrote:Thank you, the Good Prof.

The only plan I'd personally be happy with is the one outlined by Prof Fergus Gibb of Sheffield: deep burial 4 km down in granite, which fuses/vitrifies in the heat produced by the waste. It's then practically impossible to dislodge by all but the most determined (and energy-rich) possible future civilisation.
If that takes 50 years or doesn't happen at all, it is a far worse plan than one that puts the stuff a few hundred meters underground in a decade or two.

Leaving this stuff above ground, under active cooling is a serious risk - a far larger risk in my opinion than having it under several hundred meters of Cumbria's rock.

It may not the geologically perfect - but in my opinion political reality and timescales are more important. This is a case where it's critical that we don't allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

The worse case scenario here isn't leakage decades or hundreds of years from now - it's a prolonged backout a decade from now and the whole lot going up in smoke. That's the risk we need to mitigate.
User avatar
Filter Feeder
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:46 am

Post by Filter Feeder »

West Cumbria has mass unemployment and are not at all squeamish about the nuclear industry. It employs a lot of people already. But any plan to put a massive nuclear waste dump under the Irish Sea is just too stupid to contemplate. The geology is completely wrong.

I suspect they'll be taking a long hard look at Caithness
User avatar
biffvernon
Posts: 18539
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Lincolnshire
Contact:

Post by biffvernon »

I don't think the plan was for under the Irish Sea. Prime site was actually within the National Park. (But as you say, the geology is not ideal.)
Post Reply