Thursday, June 16, 2011

Permanent Storage

Whenever a Government cannot solve a problem in simply taking a decision they call in the experts. These wise women and men then sit together and eventually come up with one or a bunch of proposals which the government either will choose from or simply ignores. This happened lately when the Merkel administration called in an Ethic Commission to recommend on the abandoning of nuclear energy in Germany. For me this was once more all about stupefying the people (Volksverdummung) as the government had taken the decision to shut down our nuclear power stations before. They just wanted to cover their ... with a recommendation of the Ethic Commission to be used when in later years all our electric lights are low. Strangely enough a shortage in kilowatts may happen not so much in winter but in summer when all the rivers are low on water, the nuclear reactors in France must work on reduced power, and are not willing to export electricity.

The Ethic Commission also dealt with the permanent disposal of radioactive waste demanding that the problem must be solved. What a lucid statement! No wonder the Federal Office of Radioprotection responsible for the permanent disposal commented immediately. No phrase-mongering this time when they state: The worldwide unsolved problem of the permanent disposal of radioactive waste must be solved although they are somehow ducking the national issue heaving the waste to the world level.

What follows are just matters of course and déjà vus: German waste remains in Germany. All technical options for storage should be discussed, i.e. we continue talking in the coming years. Safety of storage has the highest priority. With the possibility of storage in abandoned salt mines greatly compromised the Federal Office recommends a comparative search for other sites: Permanent storage can only be solved with public participation in a way where the outcome is not known in advance (to say it short in German: ist ergebnisoffen).

To make the long story short: with the technical problem not solved and a storage site not found we either turn in circles or we are back to square one each time with more insight but fewer options. I fear that the statement the permanent disposal of radioactive waste must not be left to future generations remains just a statement.

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