After the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, things behind them have become a global problem.
the 60 year history of nuclear power has left mankind scarred, but it has not taught people how to properly handle nuclear waste, ruby ˙ Russell wrote
▲ high radioactive nuclear waste is being unloaded from the port of Cherbourg, France
April 26 this year is the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, and mankind has finished a year since the world's first nuclear power plant was put into operation in the former Soviet Union. However, although nuclear power has been used for decades, most countries have not reached an agreement on how to store nuclear waste safely
Finland takes the lead in this regard and plans to establish the world's first permanent nuclear waste storage site to bury high-level radioactive nuclear waste in the granite layer 400 meters underground on olkiloto Island, far from the coast. Implementers say nuclear waste can be safely stored there for 100000 yearsThis function is also used in BMW for the first time.
in general, long-term planning is not the strength of the government, which is a big problem for the nuclear industry, which must plan for accidents that may occur in the next tens of thousands of years, or even millions of years
artists and philosophers are even discussing, just as human beings today can no longer understand prehistoric civilization, how can we mark waste storage sites so that future humans with the best strength and flexibility can understand them
even if we don't take the long view, the storage of nuclear waste will bring great challenges to technology, economy and society. Finland will start filling the olkiloto storage site in 2020, which is expected to take 100 years. Since it is less than 100 years since the first successful nuclear reaction experiment was completed on the morning of September 19, 1919, it sounds like a long time to use 100 years to fill the waste
Sweden is also developing similar technologies, and is the only European country except Finland that is nearing the completion stage of nuclear waste disposal planning. The geological conditions of the two countries are superior, the amount of nuclear waste is relatively small and the type is single, only the used fuel (also known as "spent fuel") needs to be treated, and there is no waste that needs post-treatment, so they have more advantages than other nuclear countries
Steve, emeritus professor of energy policy, University of Greenwich ˙ Thomas said that in most cases, high-level nuclear waste is stored before disposal
"all over the world, the scale of spent fuel storage and the number of reactors are increasing. If you look for a reactor that has been operating for more than 20 years, the capacity of the spent fuel storage equipment of this power station must have been expanded. Everyone is the same. There is no place to put it." Thomas said
2011, German Chancellor Angela ˙ Merkel announced that she would completely shut down her country's nuclear power plants by 2022. Europe's largest economy has become a pioneer in the development of renewable energy
when the two countries were not unified in 1977, West Germany began to explore a waste salt mine in the north of gryben to select a site for nuclear waste storage. Therefore, Germany was once regarded as a pioneer in exploring solutions to the problem of nuclear waste. Local residents protested strongly from the beginning. The struggle lasted for decades until the debate about whether the site was geologically suitable for storing nuclear waste became increasingly fierce. Some experts said that the site was close to the sparsely populated east German border at that time, and the political significance of this choice was higher than scientific reasons. The government suspended the site selection survey in 2000
a law passed by Germany this year makes gryben a candidate for nuclear waste storage again: according to the new site selection survey, the whole country will be regarded as a "blank map", and all salt domes, granite and clay layers are considered
the official plan is to select the address before 2031 and complete the construction before 2050. However, Saxony, located in eastern Germany and adjacent to the Czech Republic, has requested that it be excluded from the site selection process, and some experts also believe that this requirement is likely to be adopted
site selection exploration in the UK is carried out near the nuclear decommissioning and reprocessing facilities in Sellafield, northern England, where the nuclear waste problem is the most serious in the UK. However, after consulting the public and academia, the site selection work was suspended and finally cancelled
in France, the current plan is to use the clay layer near a village called Bure in the northeast as a storage site for nuclear waste. The French radioactive waste management agency (Andra) plans to complete the construction before 2035. However, observers said that the public was not consulted on this decision, and the parliamentary vote to determine the fate of the site was about to be held. At present, public protests against this were heating up
in addition to technical and political issues, economic costs are also a major challenge for nuclear waste disposal
in the UK, the nuclear decommissioning authority predicts that the current cleanup cost will be between 840billion and 2trillion yuan based on existing data. In this regard, the total planned expenditure from 2017 to 2018 is equivalent to 28.8 billion yuan, of which 20 billion yuan is borne by the government and taxes, and the remaining 8.8 billion yuan is borne by the income from commercial operations
in Germany, nuclear power plant operators are mainly responsible for reactor decommissioning. This process involves spent fuel removal and facility dismantlement, which often takes decades
according to the agreement reached last year, nuclear waste disposal has now become a national. Nuclear power institutions need to pay 177billion yuan equivalent to funds managed by the state for waste disposal. But experts worry that taxpayers will eventually pay for it
"we have no technical concept of all waste management and disposal, so we can't estimate the cost," Wolfgang, Professor of energy management at the University of Applied Sciences in West Ruhr, Germany ˙ Eric said. In fact, the fund limit is calculated with reference to the budget for the location of gryben 20 years ago
long term temporary storage
some experts believe that it is too early to talk about disposal once and for all. But even for the olkiloto project in Finland, there are doubts about its long-term safety
"from a scientific point of view, it is too arrogant to say that we have found a way to safely store nuclear waste for tens of thousands of years," said Michael, an independent nuclear policy analyst and chief author of the annual state of the world nuclear industry report ˙ Schneider said. "I don't believe that geological storage will be safe forever. I haven't seen anyone make such a conclusion yet. It's too early to say."
on the contrary, Schneider called for attention to ensure that temporary storage can be in place. In most cases, temporary storage is not sound
"the reason for the problem of waste disposal is that we temporarily seal the waste on the premise of permanent storage for a certain period of time, but once it is not buried after the period, the temporarily sealed packaging will begin to deteriorate," Thomas said
both Britain and France choose the method of wet storage to temporarily dispose of spent fuel, that is, to store it in the pool for a long time. Schneider said that the German method of nuclear waste disposal in Europe is worth learning from, that is, cooling the waste with water and taking it out for dry storage as soon as possible
"there is no doubt that dry storage is safer than pool storage," Schneider said. "Because once there is no water, the wet stored fuel will rise in temperature, which is a big problem. The age of the fuel is different, and some may cause fires, causing more serious accidents than the nuclear accidents we have experienced before."
he mentioned that at the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, one thing that worried everyone was that it was impossible to determine whether there was a possible spent fuel fire; If it does happen, at least 10million surrounding people need to be evacuated. (nearly 200000 people were evacuated in the Fukushima accident.)
Andrew of the British Independent Expert Group nuclear waste Advisory Association ˙ Broles said that the planned location of the reactor itself has a big problem
"many dangerous spent fuels will be stored in new facilities in coastal areas (not far from the reactor), which are extremely vulnerable to climate change. Such accumulation over time may become a major problem facing mankind in the next century," broles said
tip of the iceberg
all these concerns are just a small part of the big problem of radioactive nuclear waste. "High level radioactive waste is only the smallest part," Schneider said. "The amount of waste with low pollution is amazing. A uranium mine like Wismut, a 79 plastic modified asphalt waterproof coiled material in eastern Germany, alone can produce hundreds of millions of tons of waste."
decommissioning of nuclear facilities will produce a large amount of polluting materials. Temporary storage sites for radioactive waste in Germany are also plagued by technical and public resistance, and decommissioning costs in Britain are out of control
"Britain is a negative example of the decommissioning management of nuclear power facilities. Britain has made almost every possible mistake, leaving only the impoverished authority." Thomas, who focuses on energy policy, said
Germany has decided to completely phase out nuclear power plants. The amount of waste to be treated is fixed, which is indeed a major advantage, but Thomas believes that the existing experience of nuclear decommissioning is too little to really help determine what kind of situation Germany will face
"the number of decommissioned nuclear facilities in the world is negligible. I think there are only six power stations in the world that have been operating for a certain period of time and have been completely decommissioned." He said
broles believes that Germany has done the right thing: "when we are not sure how to deal with the existing waste, we should not make more nuclear waste."
Copyright © 2011 JIN SHI