How to dispose of nuclear waste. Finland shows the way with a project expected to span 100,000 years. A STEEP 5km ramp corkscrews down from the mouth of a tunnel into the bowels of the Earth. At the bottom, a yellow rig is drilling boreholes into the rock face, preparing it for blasting. The air is chilly, but within a few years, it may feel more like a Finnish sauna. Buried in holes in the floor will be copper canisters, 5.2 metres long, containing the remains of some of the world’s most radioactive nuclear waste. When the drilling is finished, in a century or so, 3,250 canisters each containing half a tonne of spent fuel will be buried in up to 70km of tunnels. Then the entire area will be sealed to make it safe for posterity.
Economist 12th April 2017 read more »
[Machine translation] Nuclear: accidents at landfill sites. France Info revisits the various accidents that have occurred on the various radioactive waste landfill sites worldwide. The nuclear landfill pioneers are the Germans. In the 1960s, they stored 126,000 barrels of radioactive waste underground at this site. The city of Arre in Lower Saxony is paying the consequences today. A former disused salt mine cracks and water seeps throughout the facility. “The inhabitants have always believed that it was an experimental mine for research, that waste could be removed, but in fact it was a cover for final storage,” says Heinke Wiegel of the Citizens’ Initiative Asse. The site has been condemned since 2010. The authorities are still looking for solutions to try to extract all this radioactive waste.
France info 14th April 2017 read more »
Certain bacteria could live off nuclear waste and in the process of doing so, make it safer to store. That’s according to researchers at the University of Manchester, who have shown certain microbes can make use of radioactive particles such as uranium and neptunium in place of oxygen. In doing so, they convert these dangerous molecules into less mobile and harmful forms. The UK is home to about 4.5 million cubic metres of nuclear waste, most of which is currently stored in ponds and silos at surface level at Sellafield in Cumbria. It will eventually be stored deep underground in repositories encased in cement but the government has yet to decide on a suitable site. Jonathan Lloyd, Geomicrobiologist at the University of Manchester, was part of a team that looked into how bacteria could interact with stored nuclear waste.
Energy Live News 17th April 2017 read more »