“I think a number of other greens are slowly going to make the decision that nuclear power is better than the alternatives,” [Professor Robin Grimes, a materials physicist at Imperial College London and former researcher at the US Los Alamos National Laboratory] explained. Even the most common green objection to nuclear power radioactive waste is being resolved. Britain doesn’t yet have a repository for spent nuclear fuel and continues to temporarily store it on the same sites as its power stations. After the new generation of reactors are switched on, they will eventually produce almost half a million tonnes waste, some of which will remain dangerous for millennia. Contrary to green folklore, however, this is not an immutable problem.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, along with the country’s best geologists and teams of nuclear engineers, has already begun the hunt for a new waste site. Encased in layers of lead, cement and under hundred of metres of rock, they are entirely confident (as are those engineers constructing similar repositories in the US and Finland) that the waste will be safely contained. In fact their working timescale is a million years, which means that the repository will outlast not only our progeny, but probably also human civilisation.