Nuclear Waste Disposal System: Great Idea?


The Nuclear Waste Disposal System known surreptitiously as Patent# US 6846967 provides a means for disposing of nuclear waste which includes filling steel containers with nuclear waste and then dropping the containers into the sea in the path of an undersea volcano. The volcano in turn pours lava onto the sea bed with the toxic substances, which the inventor swears are safe to put in the ocean and will not harm the environment. The question is: What if he is wrong?


Typically, liquid radioactive waste is disposed of by burying the waste in the earth or at sea. To prevent contamination of the surrounding environment after burial, the liquid material is solidified in some manner so that it will remain buried and will not leak the radioactive materials. The attempt to challenge this important problem is noble and important. Nuclear wastes are fast becoming a growing menace to humanity and the environment and this idea is not the first to address it nor will it be the last. (It is, however, probably the silliest to come along.)

The process begins with mixing the nuclear waste with a molten substance (lead). But alas, where does it end? What if the radioactive containers are dumped according to the inventor’s instructions and there’s not quite enough lava to hide the evidence? There’s no way to control that, but the inventor says that in that event:

“If the lava flow is deemed inadequate, high explosives may be used to increase the lava flow by breaking the volcano walls.”

I don’t know about you, but to my ebbing and flowing sense of paranoia, it seems that one disaster is causing another that has already started and needs no additional help. Some more reasonable inventions concerning nuclear waste and energy include: Guest Blogger’s piece, “Turning Hazardous Waste Into Usable and Lisa Zyga’s “Plasma Gasification Transforms Garbage into Clean Energy”.”


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