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The Saga of UK Radioactive Waste Disposal

October 20, 2020 -6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


The Western Regional Group is pleased to welcome Dr. Ian Crossland nuclear specialist with more than 50 years’ experience of the nuclear industry. For the past thirty years he has specialised in radioactive waste management with a particular interest in disposal. He has first-hand experience of the roller-coaster ride produced by the many swings of UK policy in this area.

The UK has a small mountain of radioactive waste that is stored at many locations around the country. This is the legacy of almost 100 years’ exploitation of nuclear technology in research, medicine, weapons and electricity production. Some of this waste will remain dangerous for millennia. Even if we were to stop
producing it, the legacy of past years would still need to be safely managed to prevent its being a danger to the public. But what to do? Do we continue to store it and, by so doing, pass on the burden of care to future generations? Or do we seek a permanent solution and thereby honour both intergenerational equity and the
“polluter pays” maxim?

The talk outlines the fundamental science that underpins geological disposal, the development, over the past half-century, of UK radioactive waste management policy, the several failed attempts to implement geological disposal and the current campaign to find and implement a permanent solution.


This talk will be given via Zoom, hosted by The Geological Society, Western Regional Group.

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The Geological Society
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