Sea-based approaches to the disposal of nuclear waste have significant advantages. They make it hard for terrorists, rebels, or criminals to steal for use in radiological weapons or in nuclear bombs. The enormous volume of water in the world’s oceans also has a vastly greater dilutive capacity than any single land site in the event of unintended leaks (though by the same token the effects of a leak could travel farther). And seawater itself contains a variety of radionuclides, so treating it as a domain in which there is no natural radioactivity runs counter to fact. Even proponents of land-based geological storage sites of radioactive waste must recognize that, without a great deal of additional investment and endless political arguments, these sites will not have the capacity to store all the waste that will be generated in future decades. So studying sea-based solutions makes eminent sense.
Four sea-based approaches recommend themselves. Continue reading »