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Last Updated: Friday, 10 December, 2004, 06:20 GMT
British nuclear waste policy condemned
Sophie Hutchinson
Nuclear waste: no plans for disposal
The Government's policy of dealing with radioactive waste has been condemned in a damning report from the House of Lords.

The Science and Technology Committee has said it's "dismayed" at the lack of urgency in deciding how to dispose of our nuclear rubbish.

The government instructed a new advisory body, the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) to start from a "blank sheet of paper" despite an overwhelming international scientific consensus that underground disposal or storage was a safe long-term solution.

  • Breakfast had more on this throughout Friday's programme

  • Our reporter Sophie Hutchinson was at the Sizewell nuclear plant in Suffolk

  • We heard from Daniel Lak in Washington about how the problem of disposing of nuclear waste is dealt with in the United States.

    What you told Breakfast
    Nuclear waste is a political problem not a technical one
    Simon James, New Malden

    Burying nuclear waste deep underground is one option, and a range of mountains in Nevada is also being considered for the storeage of waste.

    The United States is not that much farther ahead than the UK on finding a long term solution despite spending $4bn digging tunnels - so far these have never been used.

    Environmental groups have also been loobying hard against nuclear waste being stored underground or in purpose built mountain 'caves', but that still means there is 91 million gallons of Plutonium used in weapoons production which needs to be disoped of.

    Dr John Large is an independent nuclear expert - he was live in the studio, click on the link to the right to see that item.

  • We also heard from Charles Barnett who is from the 'Shut Down Sizewell' campaign

    Charles Barnett
    Charles Barnett: 500'000 tonnes of waste

    Charles Barnett said the problem of nuclear waste was intractable and that no more waste should be produced.

    Where to put the 500'000 tonnes of waste was the issue, "Personally I'm not very sanguine about it" he said pupose bulit stores might provide the solution while scientists got on with solving the problem.

    Disaster

    "You can't leave this highly toxic waste inside the reactors, that would be a disaster because the radioactive graphite would not be stable."

    Mr Barnett said he would prefer it stored above ground but a solution could be one to two hundred years away.



  • BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
    Dr John Large
    "The final solution is to manage it underground or on the surface"



    BBC Breakfast

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    SEE ALSO:
    When the power runs out
    04 Oct 04 |  Breakfast


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