Anthropocene Apocalypse pt. 60

Nuclear dumps

One major problem with the nuclear industry is the difficulty of getting rid of the nuclear waste. It remains dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years. The half-life of uranium is 4.7 billion years. That means that if you were to put a ton of it into the ground in 4.7 billion years time you’d still have half a ton of the stuff.

That doesn’t sound good to me.

It makes you wonder what British Nuclear Fuels were thinking when they were dumping that stuff off the sides iof ships into shallow water in concrete lined barrels that degrade in double quick time? Were they stupid or thoughtless?

In my opinion there is only one way to deal with nuclear waste. It needs vitrifying into glass cubes and storing deepo undeground in specially prepared chambers in rock that is stable and not subject to seismic activity. I know that is expensive but that price needs building in to the overall plan.

So when the government proposed a cheap plan to set up a nuclear dump on the site of a disused power station on the South Bank of the Humber I opposed it. I did not think that it was safe to put high level radio-active waste in barrels in a concrete lined dump on land. In my opinion concrete does not last thousands of years. Radio-active material would leak and contaminate groundwater. That is precisely what has happened in America with similar projects.

Doing things on the cheap is not a viable alternative.

So I went on a march through Hull carrying my banner. I did not take my kids because they vwere not yet old enough to make up their own mind and I do not believe in indoctrination.

Shortly after a man knocked on my door with a poster advertising a public meeting in the town library regarding the nuclear dump. He asked if I was going and could I display the poster. I readily agreed to both.

On the night of the meeting I went along to the library. I was expecting a big turn-out so I was a bit surprised to find I could park directly outside. I went in expecting the meeting to be in the main hall and was directed down to a basement room. It was very quiet.

When I went into the room there were only five people in there but they were delighted to see me and welcomed me i n. We had a great chat about the wrongs of nuclear dumping. Seemingly they were a small ultr-left wing group. They seemed nice guys.

The following week my phone was tapped. There was a click when I picked the receiver up and when my friends called their calls were intercepted and they were questioned as to who they were and who they were after and why.

That caused a bit of a stir.

When I rang the telephone people they assured me it was merely to check nuisance calls.