Williams, Martin

The issue of nuclear waste disposal seems to be one of a few questions: what should be done? Should we do something now? And/or how do we deal with the sociological ramifications of doing something about the nuclear waste?

From a philosophical perspective, if we care about the survival of: first, the continued existence of life as cultivated by the evolution of earth; and secondly, just the continuation of the existence of humans, the solution to the waste management question, is that we must rid some of it now, and we must rid some of it later.

What is the best way to do that? This is not a question of this way or that way is the best (black or white). This is a question of what is the lessor of three evils (a gray solution). Do we shoot it to space, do we bury it in the ocean (internationally illegal and ultimately impractical), or do we bury it in the mountains. The answer seems to be, we should bury the waste in the mountains. This is the lessor of three evils. But we must not bury all of it here. Because with current technology and knowledge, epistemologically and phenomenonologically speaking, we can only know the PROBABILITY, that burying nuclear waste in the mountains will be be the best solution. But we can't know, in a FINITE way, that this is the best solution. This is the rationale for why we must both, bury some of it, and leave some unburied (for future scientific explorative testing of proper disposal). By doing this, we solve the problem of ridding some of this stuff (to the best of our current technological capabilities)

From a sociological perspective, we must have a reduction in the use of nuclear energy over a period of years (because it's waste is too difficult to get rid of). We must replace it, simultaneously, with partly wind, solar, geothermal, and other energies, to compensate for the loss of the power that would have been generated by nuclear. As we are slowly decreasing the reduction in our use of nuclear power over years, government must help businesses retool their companies and work forces to learn to manufacture new energy technologies to compensate for their losses in the marketplace.

In conclusion, we should get rid of some of it now, in the mountains. We should save some of it for future generations to learn from and try to dispose of (to preserve technological and educational resources generationally). And governments should help the businesses involved in nuclear industries now, make the transition into other energy sectors.

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