High-Level and Long-Lived Radioactive Waste Disposal

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Science  02 Dec 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4320, pp. 885-890
DOI: 10.1126/science.198.4320.885


No uniform international approach for handling the problem of high-level radioactive waste disposal exists. All the while, the volume of these wastes continues to grow. The only viable solution to the disposal problem is a geologic one. Burial of these wastes in solid form for long periods of time in mined cavities in salt or Precambrian crystalline rock formations is technically possible. Several steps in the burial process have already been demonstrated in Germany. The problem becomes more serious as the number of countries committed to the use of nuclear energy grows. If one considers the problems of seismic stability and worldwide distribution of salt deposits, the overwhelming need for an international solution to the waste disposal problem seems obvious.