Japanese scientists urge govt to drop risky plan of disposing nuke waste underground
Tokyo, Sept 12 (ANI): A Japanese organisation representing the country's scientists has urged the government to drop its plan to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive waste deep underground.
The Science Council of Japan proposed keeping the waste in 'temporary safe storage' sites during a moratorium that could last hundreds of years.
"Based on current scientific knowledge, we cannot determine a geological formation that would be stable for hundreds of thousands of years. And thus the best possible option is temporary storage," the Japan Times quoted Harutoshi Funabashi, a professor at Hosei University involved in working out the proposal, as saying.
"This does not mean postponing the problem irresponsibly to the future. It is to secure time to find ways to more appropriately handle the matter," he added.
According to the paper, the council's report came in response to a request by the Atomic Energy Commission to look into the current efforts to select a final repository for high-level radioactive waste.
Funabashi also said that the proposal can be applied if the government maintains or gives up on its current program to reprocess spent fuel from nuclear power plants for recycling.
According to the paper, under the current plan, fuel reprocessing would produce vitrified high-level radioactive waste, which is to be placed in a final disposal site over 300 meters underground after being stored for about 30 to 50 years for cooling. (ANI)
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