Thank you, to the Tribune editors, for calling our attention to the problem of nuclear waste (“Nuclear storage: an issue too long on back burner,” March 4). However, one aspect of the problem you have left unmentioned. In the unlikely case that one or more permanent sites for the waste is found, then picture this: a steady stream of refrigerated trucks or trains crisscrossing the nation’s highways and rails to get to these locations, each a potential nuclear bomb. Nuclear waste is very hot and needs to remain cooled continually, and it is highly radioactive. Imagine the problems of commuter traffic, traffic accidents, overturned trucks, trucks on fire actually becoming nuclear bombs!
Short of some science-fiction scenario whereby we manage to shoot nuclear waste on a no-return trajectory into outer space (sorry, whoever is alive out there!), there is no good solution for the waste. It appears that the main significant product issuing from nuclear plants really is the waste; all else, such as electricity and jobs, can be produced by better means. And we keep adding to it on a daily basis!
Residents of a reactor community as is San Luis Obispo County will have to resign themselves to this being a permanent storage site. We have to learn to become guardians of nuclear waste. Teach our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren how to keep it safe. Ad infinitum.
But can’t we at least stop producing the stuff ASAP?
-- Henriette Groot - Los Osos