AAAS: “Let’s hold them accountable” | Watts Up With That?

Guest post by David Middleton This morning, I received another email from the American Association for the Advancement of Science… We cannot overstate this: Under the current administration, …


Radioactive waste could easily be safely disposed of. The only obstacles are politicians and NIMBY’ism. Even the most high-level and toxic waste can be safely disposed of geologically…

Petroleum drilling costs have decreased to the point where boreholes are now routinely drilled to multi-kilometer depths. Research boreholes in Russia and Germany have been drilled to 8-12 km. The drilling costs for 950 deep boreholes to dispose of the entire 109,300 MTHM inventory, assuming a cost of $20 million per borehole (see Section 3.1), would be ~ $19 billion. Very rough estimates of other costs are $10 billion for associated site characterization, performance assessment analysis, and license application, $20 billion for disposal operations, monitoring, and decommissioning, $12 billion for ancillary program activities, and $10 billion for transportation, resulting in a total life-cycle cost for a hypothetical deep borehole disposal program of $71 billion (in 2007 dollars).

Sandia National Laboratories

The entire inventory of high-level radioactive waste produced by US nuclear power plants over the last 50+ years could be safely disposed of for ~$70 billion.

From 1965 through 2011, nuclear power plants generated 22,219.57 TWh of electricity (22.2 TRILLON kWh). $71 billion works out to 0.3¢/kWh… One-third of one penny per kilowatt-hour.

Once the inventory is disposed of, the annual cost of drilling and maintaining disposal wells would amount to about 0.3¢/kWh… And that cost would decline over time as technological advances deflate the real cost of drilling.

Source: AAAS: “Let’s hold them accountable” | Watts Up With That?


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I am a quilter who designs many more quilts than I will ever make, and I am sharing one quilt design every day in Virtual Quilter. I also share my completed projects in Stuff-Ups, and Christmas decorations in Christmas Everyday of the Year.
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