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Can You Recycle Nuclear Waste? Yes and... No

Radioactive sign inside recycling logo in the sky above a field with nuclear waste barrels scattered around.

I've written extensively about my objection to Nuclear Energy in this blog. My primary concern is Nuclear waste that has to be stored for hundreds of thousands of years that we keep adding to the more we use Nuclear power.

With exception to those times when a Nuclear reactor has had a major meltdown and caused an environmental nightmare, Nuclear Power is a relatively clean source of energy... until you add on that the waste needs to be stored and that storage has to be maintained for generations.

I've always maintained, if the Nuclear industry could find a way to manage its waste that would render it safe within a more reasonable timeline (lets say under 100 years but ideally develop an actual process to make it safe without the need for long term storage) I'd be more on board with it as an energy source.

It turns out the Nuclear industry has had a method to recycle its waste since the nineteen sixties but thanks to the USA's fear of nuclear waste, which contains plutonium, being used to make nuclear weapons, fuel rods for Nuclear reactors were limited to one time use.

By the time this policy was changed in the mid nineteen eighties the cost of changing single use fuel rod reactors to a recycling model was too prohibitive (supposedly) so we're left with waste that needs to be stored hundreds of thousands of years instead of around two hundred years for waste in the recycle model.

For the full story watch Cleo Abram's video on The Big Lie About Nuclear Waste below.


While the video states that most European Nuclear reactors do use the recycling model which is great to hear, the bottom line is, they still produce waste that has to be stored for several generations before it is safe. Which is still not ideal.

However it is a significant slow down in waste production. It seems the Nuclear Industry (in the USA at least) are just sitting on their hands (or is that profits). I don't see how they can cry poor when the demand for energy is only increasing, and they have this option that makes Nuclear energy far more palatable as an environmentally friendly option. Something the industry has tried to claim if you just look the other way on radioactive waste storage.

Even with this known waste recycling technology being applied to any new reactors I'm still not one hundred percent on board with Nuclear power. However I'd be less adverse to it if the industry was openly proactive on finding a way to completely recycle all waste so that long term storage could be a thing of the past.

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