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Q & A: Nuclear waste

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
How is nuclear waste disposed of in the long term?
- sam (age 15)
bristol , uk
A:
The proper disposal of nuclear waste is the subject of a contentious political debate. Many people would like to bury it under a mountain in a desert somewhere, to keep it far away from people. Deserts are good candidates because leaking fluids are less likely to contaminate drinking water. But there is water even in deserts. Some imaginative ideas include incorporating waste in glassy material so that, if all goes well, it cannot dissove, corrode, or leak away and then it won't matter so much where you put it.

One problem is that no one wants a nuclear waste disposal site near their houses (and many don't want them in their state). So right now a lot of nuclear waste is stored temporarily where it was produced, at nuclear power plant sites, in big casks. Here's a recent article from on the subject.

Tom (w mike)

(published on 10/22/2007)

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