Rawlingson Malcolm Stewart

I would like to lend support to Joyce Achesons submission related to lack of logic in storing nuclear materials in deep underground sites.

While I do not question whether this method ofstorage is "safe" or not it seems to me to be very much in the category of "out of sight out of mind".

As I understand it the process involves vitrification (a fancy term for encapsulating in a glass or ceramic type material)which will prevent the nuclear material from being affected by water - hopefully.

Having processed the material in this way and drilled a big hole into the earth's crust to put it in we presumably consider that the problem has gone away. The difficulty I have with adopting this solution is that it denies future generations the ability to utilise the large amount of energy still vailable in that fuel. To consider it as waste is such a tragic misconception. (see Cuttler and Associates excellent submissions on this topic).

Burying it deep in the earth seems to me to be making access to it very difficult and I do not think the real radiological risks associated with this material make such disposal necessary. I would much rather adopt above ground storageat nuclear sites for the medium term until we have developed the technology to recover the useful materials in the fuel and to render harmless the other materials that are a risk to the public. Our nuclear processes MUST employ the principles of REDUCING the amount of the waste produced (better nuclear fuel cycle management) RE-USING fuel bundles to extract more energy from those that we have already irradiated and RECYCLING the fuel bundles that we cannot RE-USE.

Burying it is glass blocks in a large hole in the Canadian shield makes it very difficult to do ANY of these things. There is no reason at all why the nuclear industry cannot develop the technologies to do all of the above. Burying the problem does not make it go away and I agree with Joyce 100%.

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