The politicians of Cumbria County Council have cooled on the idea of burying hundreds of thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste but a kilometre beneath their feet.
Initially tempted by the huge economic benefits a £12bn nuclear research and disposal would bring, councillors now seem dismayed that the waste wouldn’t be considered safe for another 100,000 years.
There are hundreds of thousands of tonnes of low level nuclear waste. This is entirely true.
But it’s the high level (essentially, but not exclusively, the used fuel rods themselves) which “are not safe for 100,000 years”. Although it’s a very much shorter period than that for them to be less radioactive than the rock they were originally made from.
But there ain’t hundreds of thousands of tonnes of that high level waste. To get to that sort of weight you’ve got to include the bed linen used by people having certain radiotherapies etc. It just ain’t the same stuff at all.