Environmental hazards of decommissioned nuclear power plants
Lack of practical experience on decommissioning nuclear power stations Waste of resources in obsolete nuclear power plants Excessive cost of decommissioning nuclear reactors
The ultimate waste from a nuclear power plant is the plant itself. A commercial reactor can only operate for thirty to forty years. When it stops operating, 15 to 20% of its contents remain radioactive. A closed-down reactor could be even more dangerous than one that is operating, because many of the security devices may have been removed. Dismantling a reactor is the only way to guarantee safety, but no one is certain if dismantling is feasible.
By the turn of the century, one hundred reactors around the world may have shut down, and by 2020 all 233 commercial reactors in operation in 1979 may be ready for the graveyard.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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