This is a comprehensive, well written article about the struggle to store nuclear waste. It is exactly what we are facing in the US. The website is exceptionally well illustrated and worth looking at to see what we are facing.

Trying to find a solution to nuclear waste verges on science fiction at some point.

Marilyn Elie

“It’s a question of ethics,” said Brian Ikeda, an associate professor at Ontario Tech University who studies the management of radioactive waste and has a contract to do upcoming work for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

“Do you want to leave this stuff — which you don’t like and you think is really dangerous — and have your grandchildren figure out what to do with it? Because that’s what’s actually going to happen … we could be putting those people at huge risk by having this material out.”

As such, a consensus has emerged among global experts that the best way forward is to dispose of spent fuel far underground, a concept called a deep geological repository. But putting nuclear waste underground isn’t simple…

It must be placed in rock that is stable and won’t shift for 400,000 years, the length of time the Nuclear Waste Management Organization believes the waste would remain radioactive enough to be harmful if leaked. It must be climate change proof.

It must also account for the many unknowns of future generations, who might not know how to actively maintain the storage site, but on the other hand will hopefully be able to monitor it. It must be buried so deep that, if our languages disappear or the information about what’s sealed within is somehow lost, our descendants would be unlikely to disturb the buried chamber and expose themselves to the unimaginable risk inside.

Another challenge is the simple fact of entropy: everything breaks down over time…”