There are several methods and proposed methods for nuclear waste disposal. There’s deep ocean disposal where the waste is sealed in a tight container and dumped into the ocean (I’ve seen a rocket version where it would tunnel into the ocean floor too, but I can’t remember if anyone is doing this yet) geological burial, similar to the ocean disposal only burried in the ground, and currently, methods of recycling are being looked into.
You can never really “dispose” of nuclear waste — all you can do is contain it… So they call this “disposal,” but all it really is, is putting it away for a while. Nuclear waste will remain radioactive for thousands of years — this is why it’s not a good idea to be making too much of the stuff!!!
Here’s a quote which sum’s up what I am saying:
“Since the only way radioactive wastes finally become harmless is through decay, which for some isotopes contained in high-level wastes can take hundreds of thousands of years, the wastes must be stored in a way that provides adequate protection for very long times.” from the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Basically, we’re screwed (I mean committed) to keeping the stuff locked up for eons. Unless we can figure out a way to get it off the planet without hurting the environment in the process (I think one day jupiter might glow a bright, eerie green after we make it our nuclear dumping station! I’m only kidding, but this is really no laughing matter, how much is it going to cost to keep this stuff in the earth [monetarily and environmentally -- in terms of human impact -- how long until these stockpiles become damaged and it starts effecting the eco-system]??? Nuclear is just about the most UNSUSTAINABLE form of energy production if you consider the fact that we only have so much usable space on this planet, and we cannot afford to keep producing radioactive waste, because sooner or later, we will run out of places to put it.
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